DENMARK, SC – Officials with the Voorhees University Center of Excellence for Educator Preparation and Innovation are among a select few in the country participating in the 2023-2024 National Improvement Science Teaching Course.
The course is offered by the Improvement Collective, which is an organization that strives to help create healthier systems that nurture all children to thrive. According to the Improvement Collective, the course prepares individuals to become certified improvement coaches who support district and school teams in using improvement science to tackle specific problems of practice in their local contexts. This yearlong professional development experience will prepare participants to:
- Understand the foundations of improvement science.
- Apply the tools of improvement science in helping district or school-level teams.
- Identify specific problems of practice and strategically focus improvement efforts.
- Develop the coaching skills necessary to guide district and school-level teams through an improvement journey from understanding the problem to moving to action to getting to results.
- Take on the role of improvement coach in their organizations.
- Learn with and from a cohort of improvers from across the state.
The cohort of learners has educators from South Carolina, California, Oregon, Colorado, and Virginia. Voorhees University EPI Center participants are Dr. Tondaleya Green-Jackson, Professor, and Director of the EPI Center; Associate Director Alisha Trusedale-Cotton, Senior Clinical Faculty Advisors Jesse Outen, Margo Jackson, and Dr. Stacey Wilson.
Dr. Jackson, who is leading the team from Voorhees University, says this is an extraordinary opportunity for the University and the EPI Center to build improvement capacity in a high priority area of study.
“We have a brilliant group of five educators who have committed to taking this rigorous and demanding course for the next year. We will complete an improvement project and apply the theory and methods in a real-world context. Our project will focus specifically on using the improvement science framework for capacity building with our district partners,” said Dr. Jackson.
The EPI Center is a national nonprofit that was founded specifically to address teacher shortages and diversify the teacher workforce. It provides four innovative pathways and professional learning opportunities for currently certified teachers and those seeking certification. Through individualized, competency-based instruction, the EPI Center is committed to providing support services, stipends, and virtual coaching to help current and future educators achieve their academic goals; most often at no cost to participants.
The staff of the EPI Center includes certified South Carolina Teachers, national board certified educators, clinical faculty advisors, academic coaches, and a myriad of credentialed professionals with extensive classroom and professional experiences in K-16 settings. Voorhees University is the only HBCU in South Carolina doing this concentration of work in teacher preparation.
The EPI Center is in partnership with 14 public school districts in South Carolina. The following K-12 school districts will benefit from this yearlong intense academic experience: Allendale County School District, Barnwell County Consolidated School District, Barnwell School District 45, Calhoun County Public Schools, Charleston County School District, Chester County Schools, Colleton County School District, Darlington County School District, Georgetown County School District, Richland School District Two, Rock Hill Schools, Sumter School District, Williamsburg County School District and York School District One.