WCU, Alleghany schools receive $125K science education grant

Western Carolina University recently received a grant in the amount of $125,000 for the continuation of its SCIENCES program, an 18-month project designed to improve science education in Alleghany County middle schools.

The SCIENCES project, which stands for Seeking Clear Indicators for Effective New Changes in Educating Students, is funded through the University of North Carolina Division of University-School Programs and Center for School Leadership Development under the national No Child Left Behind Act.

Through the SCIENCES project, faculty members from Western’s College of Education and Allied Professions provide on-site professional development opportunities for Alleghany middle school science teachers, supported by online distance education and e-mentoring activities.

The project, launched last year with a $250,000 grant, also provides assistance to teachers of students with special needs, and supports principals and aspiring principals in increasing their role in the delivery of science education.

“For the past 12 months, we have been able to provide sustained professional development for teachers in science methodology and inquiry-based projects on-site in the Alleghany County schools,” said Michael Dougherty, dean of the College of Education and Allied Professions at Western. “These professional development activities are one of the many ways that Western tries to meet the needs of the schools in the western part of our state.”

For more information about the SCIENCES project, contact Kimberly Elliott in WCU’s Office of Rural Education at (828) 227-7347.