NGU Launches Center for Educational Leadership and Research
Tigerville, SC (June 6,
began as an idea to expand the influence of North Greenville University (NGU), has resulted in the creation
of The Center for Educational Leadership and Research at NGU's Tim Brashier Campus at Greer. The Center’s goal is to
conduct and support objective research related to public education, provide
professional development, advance the study of organizational leadership
through collaborative partnerships, and work with tools and resources to move
research into practice. Dr. Harold Long, professor of education, serves as the
Greenville University’s education students already are highly sought-after,
with 100% placement rate for new teachers who are seeking employment in
schools. This new Center leverages the expertise of our outstanding faculty,
allowing them to assist school districts in improving effectiveness,” said NGU
President Dr. Gene C. Fant, Jr.
August 2018, the Center began to collaborate in partnerships and was selected
in a competitive process by Greenwood District 52 to provide consulting and
professional development in their schools. Since the award, Long and Dr.
Shelley Dugle, associate dean of graduate programs in the College of Education,
have re-designed a new school report card that is now sent to all the parents
in the district.
Craig Drennon, who also works with the Center, has been instrumental in redesigning
literacy instruction in both the primary and elementary schools, which has
changed the way reading is taught in the two schools. Additional objectives have
included implementation of data-driven practices among professional staff and working
directly with district administration on leadership development and implementing
Center first conducted a comprehensive needs assessment in the district. An
analysis of data found that 86% of kindergarten students were reading significantly
below grade level. The most recent reading assessment conducted by the district
in February showed that only 18% of the kindergarten students were reading significantly
below grade level. The student test data
showed similar increases in other grades, but especially among the youngest
students where real intervention is critical to student success.
of the Center’s professional development strategy to raise student achievement also
included a grant written on behalf of the district.
April, the Self Family Foundation in Greenwood officially announced that it had
awarded $60,000 to fully fund the grant and provide literacy resources for both
the primary and elementary schools. In addition to the classroom library sets
of texts, the generous support of the Foundation will fund progress monitoring
to further implement the Center’s objective of data-driven practices in their
just over eight months of the partnership between the Center and District 52
schools, Superintendent Dr. Rex Ward has described the Center’s work as a transformation
of professional practices and “the results that we see have been incredible and
we are looking forward to more great things to come.”
Superintendent Joanne Campbell has described the Center as a “true blessing and
Godsend to the teachers, students, and community of Ninety Six.”
addition to the significant increases in student achievement, the Center has
been instrumental in both policy and personnel changes in the district, which
will continue to have a direct impact on the broader community for several
believe we will see additional partnerships added and are particularly grateful
for the support of the Self Family Foundation in this project,” said President Fant.
is already underway for the next phase of the project and will expand the scope
of work to other departments, schools, and see the addition of new partners.
“At North Greenville University, we are committed to coming alongside public educators throughout our region to help facilitate educational flourishing,” said NGU Provost and Dean of the University Faculty Dr. Nathan A. Finn. “I am grateful for the work of Dr. Long and his colleagues at the Center for Educational Leadership and Research are doing to serve schools and, ultimately, help students to succeed.”
The Center, Greenwood 52 schools, and the Self Family
Foundation have completed their first year of an important collaborative
partnership. This partnership is the direct result of an idea to expand the
influence of NGU, and the Center for Educational Leadership and Research
continues to have a significant influence on the employees and families
throughout the community in Ninety Six.
Center for Educational Leadership and Research allows NGU to discover the needs
of our educational institutions and provide research-based practices to help
improve our schools. Dr. Long has done an exceptional job with developing and
executing the Center,” said Dean of the College of Education Dr. Constance
Wright. “This is an amazing opportunity for NGU to continue to establish
partnerships that will provide consulting and professional development to
better the educational community for school districts across the state of South
Carolina and beyond.”
For more information about NGU’s Center for Educational Leadership and Research, visit https://www.ngu.edu/center-for-educational-leadership-and-research.php.
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