The COACH Project
One of the central funding goals presented jointly by the George Washington Carver Education Foundation and their college partner, Stockton University, is the "COACH Project: Consortium-based Coaching for Optimizing the Alignment of College and High School Dual Credit Instruction." This initiative seeks funding through the Education Innovation and Research Program (EIR), specifically in the Early-Phase Competition for $4,000,000 over 5 years. The project aligns with key educational priorities, including Absolute Priority 1, which emphasizes demonstrating a rationale for the project at an early stage, and Absolute Priority 5, focused on educator recruitment and retention. Additionally, it addresses Competitive Preference Priority 2, which pertains to supporting a diverse educator workforce and professional growth to enhance student learning.
The COACH Project sets its sights on serving a substantial number of students, with a target of 10,000 students in grades 9-12, particularly those categorized as high-need due to dual credit inequities faced by economically disadvantaged students. The project's core activities encompass a 2-year intervention aimed at enhancing the quality of instruction in dual credit classrooms. These activities include a minimum of four coaching sessions, specialized professional development modules, two summer symposiums, and four community-of-practice workshops. To evaluate the effectiveness of this intervention, a randomized control trial (RCT) will be conducted, involving 250 aspiring-adjunct high school teachers. Among these, 125 teachers will receive comprehensive support through the consortium-based coaching model, which builds upon Gray's (2018) successful leadership-based coaching model.
The project's primary objectives are to improve teacher effectiveness, enhance classroom instruction, and increase student engagement through instructional coaching. The ultimate goal is to achieve high student rating of instruction (SRI) quality scores for each teacher, thereby boosting student confidence, encouraging dual credit enrollment, and increasing dual credit accumulation and college attainment.
The COACH Project stands out for its innovation in addressing concerns related to dual credit instruction quality. It achieves this by introducing an intensive and sustained instructional coaching intervention within a consortium-based coaching model. This approach acknowledges the pivotal role played by the dual credit classroom in bridging the gap between instructional coaching and student achievement.
The proposed implementation sites for this project are high schools in New Jersey, aligning with the regional focus of both Stockton University and the George Washington Carver Education Foundation. In addition to Stockton University, the project involves key partners, including the Southern Regional Institute/Educational Technology Training Center (SRI/ETTC) and the Early College Research Center (ECRC) at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Together, these organizations form a collaborative network dedicated to advancing dual credit instruction quality and equity in educational opportunities for high school students in New Jersey.
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