As Towson University’s Presidential Scholar for Innovation in Teacher and Leader Preparation, Dr. Nancy Grasmick has worked tirelessly to improve educational opportunities for our student educators, those they will instruct, and the greater community.
A collaboration with Kennedy Krieger Institute has resulted in a sophisticated, interdisciplinary internship opportunity that graduates highly qualified leaders in special education and the neurosciences. These carefully selected fellows are receiving an intensive experience at Kennedy Krieger, which, along with Towson University courses, will result in an ADMIN I certificate. They also team teach the Introduction to Special Education course for the college of Education. Learn more about this program.
Fellows completing the Innovation and Leadership in Special Education Program are uniquely qualified to effectively translate neuroscience research into classroom application for student success. As of July, 2016, nine fellows have completed the program and are in a variety of education settings providing support to teachers. In addition, the Presidential Scholar has funded professional development opportunities for the teachers in the new LYNX School as well as those at Norwood Elementary and Holabird Middle. These sessions give teachers an understanding of their students and their behaviors from a neurological perspective, as well as classroom tools to develop the students’ brains to enhance their readiness to learn.
“All SySTEMs Go” is a coordinated, fully integrated, research-based approach to launching every Maryland student on a college and career pathway rich in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and boosting student competitiveness in the 21st century global marketplace. The “All SySTEMs Go” approach pulls together three Towson “firsts” and moves Maryland students through a successful trajectory from elementary school to college and career.
Towson University is offering the first Maryland STEM-certification for elementary school teachers, preparing them to give young students a strong foundation in critical STEM concepts.
Towson has implemented Maryland’s first UTeach model.
In partnership with the College Board, Towson is the first college in the nation to grant a diploma endorsement to its pre-service teachers completing a rigorous course of study in teaching Advanced Placement calculus. As a service to local school systems, Towson also trains veteran classroom teachers to teach AP calculus, while working with local school systems to identify and directly support promising students in underrepresented populations to be successful in AP courses.
The “All SySTEMs Go” approach creates a multiplier effect: more effective teachers produce highly successful students who are competitive in the global marketplace, or who return to the classroom to train the next generation of successful students.
The UTeach program at Towson University was inspired, in part, by Dr. Grasmick’s role as a board member of the National Math and Science Initiative. Through this initiative she learned of the need for highly qualified STEM teachers and how TU students could benefit by participating in such a program. Towson University is the first site in Maryland to receive a UTeach grant of over $2 million. This project enables TU to prepare highly qualified teachers in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields. Dr. Grasmick has raised a significant amount of funding to support the UTeach program and remains highly involved in the UTeach program.