Carnegie grant expands reach of UCSC's New Teacher Center

The New Teacher Center at the University of California, Santa Cruz, will further expand its reach with a $750,000 grant from the Carnegie Corporation.

The funds will enable the New Teacher Center (NTC) to partner with three or four college or university education departments to build a bridge of support for new teachers that reaches from college preparation through the first two years in the classroom.

"By linking school districts with teacher preparation programs, we'll help ensure that new teachers get the benefit of continuous, coordinated support," said NTC Director Ellen Moir. The selection process to identify the partners is underway and results are expected in March, she added.

Based at UC Santa Cruz, the NTC is a leading force behind the development of high-quality teacher and administrator induction programs nationally. The center advocates for a mentor-based induction program developed by the Santa Cruz New Teacher Project, which has provided support to more than 9,000 new teachers in California.

The NTC model taps the expertise of exemplary veteran teachers who are released full time from classroom duties and trained to mentor novice teachers. The model requires strong institutional commitment from school districts, noted Moir.

"Research shows that districts that invest in high-quality support programs for new teachers have higher teacher retention rates, and we know that high-quality teachers is the single most important factor in student achievement," said Moir.

The Carnegie Corporation grant will facilitate coordination between the selected institutions preparing the next generation of teachers and local school districts. The three-year effort will implement the NTC model in participating schools so that preservice programs at the university level are aligned with district programs.

The center will link the partners and provide the foundation for coordination, train new teacher mentors, provide ongoing coaching for mentors, and collect data to document the effects of the project.

"By collaborating across institutional boundaries, we are able to span the continuum of teacher development," said Moir. "The goal is to improve teacher development, teacher retention, and student achievement."

The project is linked to the Carnegie Corporation's high-profile Teachers for a New Era program, an ambitious reform initiative geared toward revitalizing and radically revising teacher preservice programs across the country.