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The Georgia Gwinnett College's (GGC) School of Education (SOE) has received the 2023 Frank Murray Leadership Recognition for Continuous Improvement from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

Lawrenceville, Georgia – The Georgia Gwinnett College’s (GGC) School of Education (SOE) has received the 2023 Frank Murray Leadership Recognition for Continuous Improvement from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

Dr. Pamela Smith, GGC’s coordinator of assessment and accreditation and assistant professor of curriculum and instruction, expressed her enthusiasm for the achievement, stating, “The Frank Murray Leadership Award recognizes GGC and the School of Education as a teacher education preparation program leader. This distinction demonstrates our strong alignment with the GGC mission for student success and innovative learning experiences.”

The CAEP gives this award to education preparation programs  SOE for their  ability to demonstrate evidence and data trends that led to CAEP accreditation without any stipulations or areas for improvement noted. Georgia Gwinnett College was recognized for its commitment to advancing equity and excellence in educator preparation, emphasizing self-study procedures and evidence-based reporting as tools to assure quality and support continuous improvement to enhance P-12 learning.

Dr. Smith pointed out that GGC’s School of Education was honored for offering its graduates a modern and insightful educational experience. This includes multiple field placements and a year-long student teaching experience where students work alongside mentors, supervisors, and instructors who provide unwavering support for their growth and development, both in and outside the classroom. The result is teacher candidates who are exceptionally well-versed in research-based instruction, instructional technology, and the utilization of data to drive classroom instruction.

“Our SOE programs ensure that all candidates can fully engage in all aspects of a classroom before becoming a first-year teacher,” Smith emphasized.

In addition to the recognition of the School of Education, this award highlighted the strong partnership between GGC and Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS). The collaboration allows the institutions to work closely with mentor teachers who dedicate their time and expertise to develop future educators and leaders. GCPS leaders and administrators also collaborate with SOE leadership to propose strategies for continuous improvement, underscoring the commitment to building effective teachers for Georgia.

The school of education success is supported by three grants, including two from the U.S. Department of Education and one foundation grant. These grants support collaboration with GCPS and provide students with unique field opportunities in addition to their required program hours. As Dr. Smith highlighted, “Our students would not be as prepared if they did not have robust clinical field placements.”

Georgia Gwinnett College education students spend two years working with mentor teachers, culminating in their last semester, where they take full control of the classroom for several weeks. The Teacher Quality Partnership Grant benefits GCPS by providing candidates for hard-to-staff program areas such as special education, math, and English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) while offering a diverse pool of teacher candidates.

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