Description & Background of TARGET
In a bid to ensure the fair and accountable implementation of The No Child Left Behind Act, Salisbury University submitted a grant proposal for a competitive National Professional Development Discretionary Grant opportunity. We were awarded funding from an application pool of over 400 applications nationwide to provide ESOL professional development in the form of: Training and Retraining Grades K-12 Eastern Shore Teachers – TARGET Program in TESOL. We proposed an extended program of study specifically designed to offer or enhance the: 1) Range, 2) Breadth and, 3) Depth of expertise needed by classroom teachers to teach in their specific content areas as this pertains to the teaching of newcomer populations.
The TARGET model aims to:
- Increase the qualifications of teaching professionals in the rural Eastern Shore, and improve routes of educational accessibility
- Provide a pedagogically beneficial professional development program to area professionals
- Provide a cohesive, and novel pedagogical program based on theoretical principles, and finally,
- Provide a practical program of professional development to enhance newcomer academic language skills.
Participants will come from eight of the most rapidly growing LEP rural counties on the Eastern Shore of Maryland:
- Anne Arundel
- Queen Anne's
The Eastern Shore continues to experience exponential growth in its EL population with some school districts experiencing over 600% growth rates in the last decade alone. Far too few teachers are equipped with the strategies to integrate the linguistic and cultural richness of newcomer students into their mainstream classrooms. Each year, via a competitive application process, teachers from a variety of content levels will be recruited into one of two specially designed graduate-level cohorts offered specifically for these individuals at an accelerated rate.Via a series of 10 carefully designed, and methodically sequenced courses held at accessible times during the year teachers will attain the requisite ESOL expertise to assist newcomer students.
The TARGET project is a local-educator, needs-based program designed to accommodate the needs of two types of trainees: educators who could potentially seek a post-baccalaureate certificate in TESOL for whom we are developing the spring program: Academic Career Choices Ensuring Student Success (henceforth, ACCESS), a conflation of courses designed to ensure expedient access to this certificate program. Also, in the trainee pool are all content-area teachers desiring targeted academic skills training for whom we are specifically designing a summer program: Enhancing Newcomer Competencies On Required Education (henceforth, ENCORE)—a compendium of courses designed for classroom teachers from a variety of content areas on specifically enhancing academic English skills—a mastery of which is a predicator of success in K-12 education and beyond. This is a research-based program designed to enhance the productive academic skills: speaking and writing, as well as receptive academic skills: reading and listening needed by LEP students in a variety of content areas (language arts, math, science, and social studies to name a few areas). The ENCORE program will conclude with a research-based course on efficient ESOL program development The TARGET project with its two cohort model aims to provide graduate-level expertise to area educators which is responsive, relevant, accessible, beneficial, cohesive and practical to local area educators—a model based on the National PreK-12 English Proficiency Standards.
FACULTY: Faculty with a minimum of a doctorate in the area of Applied Linguistics, TESOL or Bilingual Education or other related areas at Salisbury University, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, as well as other higher institutions across the state/country, will be invited to teach courses. The aim is to provide the benefits of varied faculty expertise in the training of professionals in the rural counties of the Eastern Shore.
The program will run every year and dependent on a renewal of funding is projected to run for five years.
Each year TARGET will consist of two cohorts: Academic Career Choices Ensuring Student Success (ACCESS) and Enhancing Newcomer Competencies On Required Education (ENCORE). These cohorts will be held in winter/spring and summer sessions, respectively, as indicated in the table below. Candidates may apply to participate in either cohort, as long as they agree to complete all courses within that compendium. The grant will cover the costs of tuition (at the in-state rate), fees and textbooks. Students who don't meet Maryland residency requirements for in-state tuition will pay the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition, unless approved for a waiver. Interested candidates may contact the TARGET Administrative Coordinator (410-543-6224) for more information.
We will select no more than 10 students for each cohort, although that number may become smaller depending on funding and tuition rates. Each year we will determine the number of slots available at some point before the board meets to consider the qualifications of candidates.
WHO? WHY THE TARGET PROGRAM?
TARGET is filling a key gap in ESOL professional development. It is offering graduate-level ESOL expertise for classroom teachers from a variety of fields via an accelerated model, reaching the one population that no other scholarship program has targeted: public school teachers who plan to remain in their current content area but need expertise in instructing EL students in their classroom (although a TARGET participant may choose to pursue a degree and become certified in TESOL). The aim is to enhance the qualifications of these teachers for the fair implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act in these counties. Aiming to increase professional expertise in the domains of: 1) Knowledge, 2) Efficiency, and 3) Expertise, the TARGET program operates on the Copernican model of education, a block-educational system in which courses are delivered in longer blocks of time than conventionally sequenced semester classes permitting for more intense continuous study and the eventual creation of a flexible expert.