Radford University ASSET program acknowledged by Institute of Education Sciences
“I thought overall, the program was exceptional. I loved that the videos and articles were not too long and the questions pertained to the information presented! Would recommend and take more courses in the future! The content was appropriate and assessed what was being addressed. I love the fact that it gave several strategies to one’s teaching methodology and arsenal.”
Mark Schneider, director of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) division of the U.S. Department of Education, praised Radford University’s Appalachian Support for Specialized Education Training (ASSET) program for delivering research-based practices in professional development to K-12 educators, especially those in rural areas.
“Based on work from the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC), Radford University is developing micro-credentials for teachers, especially teachers located in rural areas. Radford proudly calls attention to the fact that the training uses evidence-based tools and resources from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) practice guides. Moreover—and this is critical—teachers have a reason to enroll in this program since the micro-credentials can be used as professional development points for licensure renewal and potentially graduate credit,” wrote Schneider in an essay on first year accomplishments.
“The U.S. Department of Education has provided an outstanding resource to teachers with the WWC Practice Guides,” says Matt Dunleavy, executive director of the Vinod Chachra IMPACT Lab, which administers the ASSET program at Radford University. “We are thrilled with the recognition from Director Schneider, as we are committed to empowering teachers throughout the country with the impactful strategies made available by IES.”
ASSET provides self-paced, online professional development for educators to meet challenges in today’s general education classrooms. It is funded through the United States Department of Education’s Supporting Effective Educator Development Grant (SEED) Program, which provides this training for K-12 educators in Appalachia at no cost.
“It is such an honor to be recognized by Mark Schneider in his first year accomplishments report,” said Amanda Bozack, ASSET co-principal investigator, director and associate professor in the School of Teacher Education and Leadership at Radford University. “As an applied research agency, IES’s mission is really aligned with so much of the work we do here at Radford University and within the ASSET program. ASSET was a really ambitious task to take on, but knowing that we have the full support of the agency and to be recognized for our efforts makes me incredibly proud of our team.”
Micro-credentials result from short online professional development sessions that are self-paced and competency-based. These micro-credentials can be used as professional development points for licensure renewal. ASSET learners also receive graduate credit from Radford University if they complete at least five micro-credentials.
The ASSET professional development program has been extremely helpful to me as a math teacher this semester, specifically the word problems module. The instructional videos are engaging, and the activities allow an opportunity to apply the new strategies learned from the videos. After completing this module, I felt comfortable introducing it to my students, and they are showing major progress! I would recommend other teachers enroll in ASSET. Where else can you get quality professional development that actually impacts teaching and learning, without leaving your home?”
“We are grateful for Director Schneider’s ongoing commitment to sharing the resources in the IES practice guides with working teachers,” said Brooke Blanks, ASSET co-principal investigator and associate professor of special education at Radford University. “The guides have been the backbone of my work preparing preservice teachers at Radford University and the professional development I design for teachers in the field. ASSET allows our widespread rural teacher participants to explore the IES resources in their living rooms tonight and implement the practices in their classrooms tomorrow.”
ASSET is partnering with school districts to provide easy access to online, self-paced professional development. The program currently has more than 1,000 teachers and administrators enrolled across six states.
Approximately 200 teachers have completed at least one micro-credential, with eighty-four percent reporting that ASSET training will have an impact on their daily teaching practice. Furthermore, participating teachers are recommending the ASSET program to their colleagues with a rating of 8.7 out of 10.