Advancing Rural Education

A shot of Peabody Hall, the home of the School of Education
A transformational gift to the UNC School of Education will create a unique fellowship program that will enable a multi-faceted approach to ensure highly effective educators serve students in rural, high-needs North Carolina communities.

State-wide data has shown that having a Carolina-trained teacher can boost student learning beyond what is expected for learning in a given school year. The largest gains were among students from underrepresented backgrounds and economically disadvantaged schools.

With a $3 million commitment over the next four years, the Fellows for Inclusive Excellence program will remove barriers and support current UNC School of Education students and recent graduates to serve as teachers and school counselors in Title 1 schools, starting in Chatham County Schools and Person County Schools.

Ultimately, the Fellows program aims to create high-quality professional learning communities that provide school students with enhanced opportunities to succeed and thrive.

The Fellows for Inclusive Excellence program was made possible by donors who wish to remain anonymous.

Students in the UNC School of Education’s Master of Arts in Teaching and Social Counseling programs will work with teachers and counselors in Chatham and Person counties’ Title 1 schools.

Once graduated, those teachers and school counselors will have the opportunity to return to those schools as new school professionals and receive professional development opportunities to help them thrive in their profession. Combined with district funding, they will also receive a generous graduated bonus, earning more money over a 3-year period if they choose to continue working in their school.

“I do not know of another program like the Fellows for Inclusive Excellence,” said Fouad Abd-El-Khalick, dean of the UNC School of Education and Alumni Distinguished Professor. “One that takes a comprehensive approach, beginning within an educator preparation program and engaging nearly every level of school personnel, to create the highest quality professional learning communities.

“The best education begins with investment in educators. The Fellows for Inclusive Excellence program exemplifies that.”

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