Mississippi State’s RCU graduates 80 new career-technical teachers

Contact: Carl Smith

Research and Curriculum Unit project manager Leanne Long, left, hugs Maria Tarleton as she receives the Most Improved Award for the 2017-2018 New Teacher Induction cohort. Tarleton teaches at the Claiborne County Vocational and Technical Complex in the Claiborne County School District. (Photo by Carl Smith)

STARKVILLE, Mississippi — Eighty new career and technical educators will start the upcoming academic year with advanced teaching skills after graduating from the Research and Curriculum Unit’s New Teacher Induction program at Mississippi State.

The one-year program provides professional development to industry professionals transitioning to teaching positions and is part of the multi-year Vocational Instructor Preparation program developed by the Mississippi Department of Education and RCU.

“There’s no better way to teach students a skill than to have a professional in the classroom sharing their experience,” said RCU Director Betsey Smith. “We’re proud to help these new teachers transition from industry to education. Their success means a new generation of students will be college- and career-ready.”

Members of the 2017-2018 cohort began the program in July 2017 with RCU-led training before entering their respective classrooms for the first time at the start of the fall semester. Specifically, project managers taught new teachers classroom assessment, classroom management, instructional planning and instructional strategy skills through local and regional training symposiums, site visits and classroom observations.

“For these professionals transitioning into the world of education, it’s on-the-job training once they start teaching. Our instructional coaches may be the first observers to provide feedback on their performance, so we’re very diligent that our observations, training and assistance happen in a reasonable amount of time. It’s tough for these teachers because the learning curve is steep,” said Leanne Long, an assistant research professor and NTI project manager at the RCU. “We see a big transition in January after these teachers have had a few months to get their bearings. That’s when teaching really takes off for them.”

The cohort participated in online training and additional face-to-face sessions this spring and wrapped up the program with site visits to a variety of Golden Triangle businesses, industries and educational institutions, including East Mississippi Community College, International Paper, Mississippi Steel Processing, Mississippi University for Women, PACCAR and MSU.

The 2018-2019 NTI cohort begins its first week of training at MSU July 9. New teachers can register for the program and on-campus housing by visiting rcu.gosignmeup.com and searching “New Teacher Induction-Cohort VII-Summer I.”

Founded in 1965, the RCU benefits K-12 and higher education by developing curricula and assessments; providing training and professional development for teachers; researching and evaluating programs; supporting and promoting CTE initiatives; and leading educational innovations. For more visit www.rcu.msstate.edu.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.