RCU graduates 80 new career-technical teachers


June 15, 2018
Contact: Carl Smith

Leanne Long presents an award to an NTI graduate.
Research and Curriculum Unit project manager Leanne Long hugs Maria Tarleton as she receives the Most Improved Award for the 2017-2018 New Teacher Induction cohort.

New Teacher Induction trainees participate in a timed activity.
New Teacher Induction trainees participate in a timed activity.

Eighty new career and technical educators will start the upcoming academic year with advanced teaching skills after graduating the Mississippi State University Research and Curriculum Unit’s (RCU’s) New Teacher Induction (NTI) program Friday [June 15].

The one-year program provides professional development to industry professionals transitioning to teaching positions and is part of the multi-year Vocational Instructor Preparation program developed by the Mississippi Department of Education and RCU.

"There’s no better way to teach students a skill than to have a professional in the classroom sharing their experience,” said RCU Director Betsey Smith. “We’re proud to help these new teachers transition from industry to education. Their success means a new generation of students will be college and career ready.”

Members of the 2017-2018 cohort began the program in July with RCU-led training before entering their respective classrooms for the first time at the start of the fall semester. Specifically, project managers taught new teachers classroom assessment, classroom management, instructional planning and instructional strategy skills through local and regional training symposiums, site visits and classroom observations.

“For these professionals transitioning into the world of education, it’s on-the-job training once they start teaching. Our instructional coaches may be the first observers to provide feedback on their performance, so we’re very diligent that our observations, training and assistance happen in a reasonable amount of time. It’s tough for these teachers because the learning curve is steep,” said Leanne Long, an assistant research professor and NTI project manager at the RCU. “We see a big transition in January after these teachers have had a few months to get their bearings. That’s when teaching really takes off for them.”

The cohort participated in online training and additional face-to-face sessions this spring and wrapped up the program with site visits to a variety of Golden Triangle businesses, industries and educational institutions, including East Mississippi Community College, International Paper, Mississippi Steel Processing, Mississippi University for Women, PACCAR and MSU.

The 2018-2019 NTI cohort begins its first week of training at MSU July 9. New teachers can register for the program and on-campus housing by visiting rcu.gosignmeup.com and searching “New Teacher Induction-Cohort VII-Summer I.”

Founded in 1965, the RCU contributes to MSU’s mission as a land-grant institution bettering the lives of Mississippians through improving education. The organization benefits K-12 and higher education by developing curricula and assessments; providing training and professional development for teachers; researching and evaluating programs; supporting and promoting CTE initiatives; and leading educational innovations.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.