Millersville University (MU) will play a key role in preparing new principals in Pennsylvania to strengthen the commonwealth’s educator workforce. Dr. Tiffany Wright, associate professor in Educational Foundations at MU, is the principal investigator for a $299,599 grant that provides financial support to teachers who are immersed in a two-year program to learn how to become a principal.
Millersville’s grant is part of a larger $2.1 million grant announced by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to support innovative teacher and school leader preparation programs designed to expand, diversify and strengthen the commonwealth’s educator workforce.
“Many of our communities with the greatest needs also struggle to attract and retain teachers and school leaders, which directly impacts students,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “These grants will allow our universities to provide advanced training to better prepare educators to serve in our most high-need areas.”
Last year Wright received a $75,000 planning grant and this year’s grant is for the implementation of the program.
“At Millersville, we’re working with teachers from the School District of Lancaster,” says Wright. “They are immersed into roles of school leadership, learning hands-on from a principal. They’re also taking classes at Millersville. The program will culminate in a master’s degree, if needed, from Millersville and a principal’s certificate.”
“This is the best way to prepare principals,” says Wright, “immerse them in the role. We hope to use this as a flagship with other school districts in the area.”
Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera noted that increasing the number of collaborative field-based, practical educator preparation experiences was a priority recommendation within Pennsylvania’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Consolidated State Plan. He added that this year’s round of grants will ensure equitable, geographically balanced expansion of the initiative.
In addition to Millersville, Lehigh University, Robert Morris University and the University of Pennsylvania received funding for principal residencies. Other universities received grants for teacher residencies; including Clarion University and Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
For more information about Pennsylvania’s education policies and programs, please visit the Department of Education’s website at www.education.pa.gov.