Urban Education Research Center

Teacher Preparation for Title I Low Income Schools

The Teacher Education Alliance (TEA) was established in the spring of 2009 to create a strong collaborative partnership between Springfield Public Schools (SPS), Baptist Bible College, Drury, Evangel and Missouri State University.

The objectives of the collaborative partnership are to:

  • Increase pupil achievement in SPS Title I schools, particularly academic performance in communication arts and mathematics as measured by beginning, middle and end of year Performance Series Assessments
  • Improve the ability of teacher candidates who graduate from the teacher education programs of the collaborating institutions to be more effective teachers in high poverty schools
  • Facilitate the transition of newly hired teachers into their first year of full-time teaching in SPS schools, especially Title I schools

This project should result in higher student achievement in reading and mathematics, and provide the students with a sense of accomplishment that increases the likelihood they will become productive community members and responsible citizens.

In addition, this project enhances the field based learning of university teacher candidates and will help them be better prepared and have the opportunity to understand challenges they may encounter in Title I classrooms as certified teachers.

TEA partner schools are the context for the Transformational Initiative that was the focus of the Fall 2011 National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) site visit to the College of Education

The goals of the Transformational Initiative are to:

  • Support quality teaching and learning within the TEA partner schools
  • Address the needs of high-poverty (Title I) schools that partner with TEA professional preparation programs
  • Contribute to the research base for effective teacher education, teaching and student learning
  • Link prior research findings and ongoing TEA research to school practices and the TEA professional preparation programs

Colleen Hardy, Ed.D
Evangel University

Dr. Colleen Hardy is the Education Department Chair and a professor of education at Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri. She earned her Ed.D in Educational Leadership from Saint Louis University in 2003. During her 28 years in education she has worked as a classroom teacher, staff development specialist, and curriculum consultant to national and international school districts. She has had the opportunity to work with public and private schools in England, Guatemala, Saipan, and Cambodia.

She has worked extensively with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in the development of a K-12 statewide assessment system and the review and redesign of teacher preparation programs.

She was awarded the District Teacher of the Year during her public school tenure and received the Orville and Jewell Mills Young Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, Scholarship and Service while at Evangel University.

Her most recent work has focused on developing and sustaining a collaborative initiative to improve student success in high poverty schools.

In what she has heard is called spare time, she likes to read a good book, travel anywhere she has not been, and spend time with family.

As a nonpartisan research arm of the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Education (UMKC SOE), the Urban Education Research Center (UERC)–which formally was launched on October 29, 2013–works collaboratively within the SOE, across the university and in conjunction with local partners and communities. The mission of the UERC is to create reliable, usable knowledge, provide technical assistance, conduct cutting edge research and analysis, develop data rich approaches, and disseminate this information with the goal of promoting excellent schooling and improving the lives, opportunities, and communities of urban residents throughout the United States, with a focus on the Greater Kansas City community.

Ways to associate with the UERC:

  1. Faculty Fellows are SOE and other UMKC faculty who have a demonstrated interest in urban education research. This will allow for and encourage cross-disciplinary connections and promote collaboration across the academic units at UMKC.
  2. UERC Scholars are non-UMKC faculty who are leaders in the field of urban education. This will allow the UERC to work with renowned scholars and benefit from and complement the expertise among the UMKC faculty.
  3. UERC International Scholars are internationally based leaders in urban education. This will allow the UERC to work with renowned scholars who will bring global perspectives and expertise.
  4. Emerging Urban Education Scholars are post-doctoral researchers from across the UMKC campus and nationally who want to participate in the UERC’s research activities.
  5. Urban Education Student Affiliates are doctoral students from across the UMKC campus and nationally who want to participate in the UERC’s research activities.