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Fordham Technology Center Lands $3.4 Million Grant


Raising the Bar

Fordham’s Regional Educational Technology Center has landed a multimillion-dollar grant to improve student performance.

The Fordham University Regional Educational Technology Center (RETC) and the New York City Department of Education’s Region 2 received a $3.4 million state grant to provide Bronx teachers with professional development to help raise student achievement levels in local schools.

The grant, which targets under-performing schools, is part of the federal government’s “No Child Left Behind” legislation and may grow into a three-year, $11.5 million award based on the progress of the RETC/Region 2 partnership.

Kathleen King, Ed.D., professor of education and director of the RETC, will spearhead the project, which aims to provide professional development to approximately 470 K-12 teachers over the next three years. The participating teachers will be selected from 25 Region 2 public and private schools in districts 8, 11 and 12 in the Bronx.

“It is my intention to build on the center’s vision for providing professional development for local schools, and this grant is providing a major vehicle to make that a reality,” said King, who took over leadership of the RETC last July. “I see this as a very tangible demonstration of how Fordham would like to support New York City and local community schools, and we are investing our resources to do that.”

The program is slated to begin in July, when the RETC will start training approximately 160 teachers. Throughout the year, the teachers, who will be provided with laptop computers, will spend 25 hours on Fordham’s Rose Hill campus and will take some of the 25 online courses developed by the center. RETC staff will also conduct site visits in Region 2 Bronx schools.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to help our students,” said Laura Rodriguez, Region 2 superintendent. “This grant will help us bring 21st-century technology into the development of class lessons for both literacy and math to improve student performance.”

The teachers will learn about instructional technology, information technology and instructional design that will assist them in developing custom lessons and curricula that match students’ individual skill levels. They will also be exposed to online resources that provide curricula, integrated problem-solving tools and math lessons, among other offerings.

The hope is that the teachers who come through the program can share their new skill sets with other teachers to improve the general achievement levels of the schools, King said.

Since arriving at Fordham in 1997, King has secured $2.3 million in local and federal funding for technology and education-related research and professional development projects. Under her leadership, the RETC staff has been developing additional partnerships and working with a growing number of schools and organizations around New York City.

"Fordham is proud of our faculty's commitment to bring their great expertise to the service of the city, the community and the nation. In that, the RETC represents some of the best that the University has to offer," said John Hollwitz, Ph.D., vice president of academic affairs. “We are dedicated to wisdom and learning in the service of others, and this grant will help the RETC to fulfill that mission.”

— Michele Snipe

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