This five year project is designed to increase academic achievement for all students in urban schools in Cobb County, Georgia, through the development of an innovative teacher preparation program. The Bagwell College of Education and teacher preparation partners in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the College of Science and Mathematics at Kennesaw State University (KSU) will collaborate with the Cobb County School District (CCSD) in developing, implementing, and evaluating a seven-school Vertically Articulated Professional Development School (VAPDS) model for teacher preparation in Area 2 of Cobb County.

The Partners

  • Kennesaw State University (KSU), the third largest university of the 35 campuses of the University System of Georgia, is located in metro Atlanta approximately 20 miles northwest of central Atlanta. It is a SACS-accredited, comprehensive university enrolling nearly 22,000 students. In fall 2008, 26.9% of students reported themselves as members of underrepresented groups.
  • The Bagwell College of Education (BCOE) is one of eight colleges at KSU. Of these eight colleges, five belong to the Professional Teacher Education Unit (PTEU) – an umbrella organization representing fourteen departments that collaborate on the design, delivery, approval, and accreditation of all teacher preparation programs. KSU educator programs are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Annually, the BCOE recommends more elementary education candidates for certification to the Professional Standards Commission than any other institution of higher education in the state. In 2008 the PTEU prepared the second largest number of teachers (all levels) in Georgia (only 10 fewer than the University of Georgia).
  • Cobb County School District (CCSD) is the 28th largest school district in the country and the second largest district in Georgia with over 106,000 students. Administratively, the district is divided into six areas, each under the leadership of an Area Superintendent. Our school partners are in Area 2, an urban setting located 11 miles from KSU and adjacent to the Atlanta Public School District. CCSD Area 2 comprises 18 schools: seven of these schools form a feeder pattern in which 100% of the middle school students move to the high school, and high percentages of students in the five elementary schools move to the middle school. These seven schools have been strategically selected for this project. Demographically, the 6,013 students in these seven schools are 38% African American; 2% Asian American, Filipino or Pacific Islander; 48% Hispanic; 4% Multi-racial; 8% White; 12% with disabilities; and 31% with English as a second language.

KSU and CCSD have a long history of successful partnerships. It is not uncommon for KSU to place over 50% of its teacher candidates in CCSD classrooms for field assignments any given semester. Often, these candidates become CCSD employees upon graduation. KSU and CCSD have collaborated in several grant projects such as TELL: Teaching English Language Learners, WINS: Winning Ideas Network of Schools (students with disabilities), and the Math/Science Education Partnership. Unequivocally, the proposed project will take the KSU/CCSD partnership to a new level.

Principal Investigators: Dr. Cheryl Hungerford (CCSD) and Dr. Arlinda Eaton (KSU)