June 27, 2022

Mercer receives $1.5 million NSF grant to develop computer science master teachers for rural Georgia

MACON/ATLANTA – Mercer University’s College or university of Training has obtained a $1.5 million grant from the National Science Basis (NSF) to produce computer system science learn academics for schools in rural Georgia.

The 5-year job, in the sum of $1,499,816, is administered by way of the NSF’s Division of Undergraduate Instruction and Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Software.

The venture aims to provide the countrywide want of building highly efficient personal computer science instructor leaders who are prepared to fortify the ability of rural college devices to supply access to high-high quality instruction for all college students.

Dr. Thomas Koballa, dean of the College of Training, serves as principal investigator on the grant venture, along with co-principal investigators Dr. Susie Morrissey, assistant professor of mathematics education and learning in the Higher education of Education Dr. Bob Allen, professor and chair of computer system science in the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Dr. Anthony Choi, professor of electrical and personal computer engineering in the School of Engineering.

The project includes partnerships with Wiregrass Georgia Specialized College, the Personal computer Science for Ga Academic Companions Community and significant-want faculty districts in Clinch, Espresso, Evans, Jeff Davis, Tattnall, Treutlen and Wheeler counties, as properly as Dublin City Educational institutions.

Georgia Division of Education and learning knowledge suggests that of the 81,144 Ga center college and large school college students enrolled in pc science classes throughout the 2020-2021 university 12 months, much less than 20 percent were students in rural faculty systems. Additionally, of the 309 accredited personal computer science teachers, only 86 taught in rural faculties.

“Job reviews indicate 1000’s of unfilled pc science positions in Georgia and lots of more unfilled positions that demand the wondering competencies taught in laptop or computer science programs,” explained Dr. Koballa. “Students attending rural educational facilities in our condition, in particular associates of underrepresented teams, don’t have access to pc science instruction to put together them for these positions compared to learners attending urban and suburban educational institutions.”

“We are fired up to perform with teachers who are dedicated to offering their college students with computer system science opportunities that will empower them to go after professions in a well-paying out business with a shortage of applicants,” additional Dr. Morrissey.

The challenge team will recruit and prepare 16 certified computer system science Learn Trainer Fellows (MTFs), like a single center university instructor and just one significant faculty teacher from each and every of the 8 spouse districts.

MTFs will receive tuition and a stipend to comprehensive a 14-thirty day period on line Academic Specialist (Ed.S.) in Instructor Leadership degree program, followed by on the web laptop or computer science mini-courses, in-person laptop or computer science leadership assemblies and computer science program-amount planning situations.

“This application will produce not only the understandings and pedagogical competencies to teach pc science classes but also to provide as computer science leaders for their university districts. As laptop science trainer leaders, MTFs will be ready to mentor other personal computer science teachers and notify school- and district-level decisions about curriculum, study course choices and profession pathways,” reported Dr. Koballa.

Nonprofit associates, this sort of as the Ga Rural Wellbeing Innovation Center, College of Georgia Agricultural Extension Support and the Software Engineering Team at Warner Robins Air Logistics Advanced, will supply MTFs with job-concentrated laptop science hyperlinks in rural communities.

“When Dean Koballa questioned me to be a part of this group, I was ecstatic,” stated Dr. Allen. “Computer science schooling is a person of my passions. Through my many years at Mercer, I have conducted various introductory computer system programming workshops for K-12 academics in Middle Ga.  This grant allows Mercer to build a sustainable system for encouraging and establishing high-quality laptop science instructors during the state of Georgia.”

“We want to have an influence and lay out sustainable procedures and mechanisms, so that each and every of the school districts are in a position to proceed what they commenced, and all future students will profit,” additional Dr. Choi.

About the School of Training

Mercer University’s Tift Higher education of Training – with campuses in Macon, Atlanta and the University’s two regional tutorial facilities – prepares more specialist educators than any other private institution in Georgia. Named for the former women’s higher education that merged with Mercer in 1986, the College or university of Training delivers baccalaureate and graduate levels, and is guided by the conceptual framework of the “Transforming Educator,” which supports people who aspire to expand skillfully all over their occupations, while also looking for to remodel the life of learners. For extra info, pay a visit to education.mercer.edu.