September 27, 2001

Contact: Bob Bruce, 503-725-5714
Source: Holly Zanville, 541-346-5726

Three-Year Grant Adds Support to Teaching of Reading in Oregon

EUGENE - Teacher preparation programs at six Oregon public universities have been selected to participate in a three-year $593,899 grant from the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) to improve the ability of Oregon teachers to teach reading to the state's K-12 students.

The grant will fund "The Oregon Reading Education and Distance Education (TO READE)" project. It will provide strengthened knowledge and skill in the teaching of reading for regular classroom teachers. It will also focus on the shortage of reading specialists in Oregon schools, and the need to strengthen pre-service programs which focus on reading in the K-12 classroom.

Participating schools include Eastern Oregon University, LaGrande; Oregon State University, Corvallis; Portland State University; Southern Oregon University, Ashland; the University of Oregon, Eugene; and Western Oregon University, Monmouth.

Two professional development programs for teachers will be developed. A General Classroom Teachers' Reading Certificate will be available for regular classroom teachers, and a Reading Specialist program will lead to an Oregon Reading Endorsement for district or school reading teachers. The emphasis in both programs will be on flexible delivery formats - online, video-based, hybrid courses, as well as face-to-face courses. The distance delivery emphasis will make the courses and modules available to classroom teachers throughout the state and will offer more time flexibility for teaching professionals.

A team of representatives from the participating teacher education programs will develop the two new programs, plus topics for the respective courses and instructional modules. This group will also work on ways to share the courses/modules among the campuses. Teacher Education faculty from the six universities will create 30 new one-credit modules for the new Classroom Teachers' Reading Certificate as well as 12 three-credit courses for the Reading Specialist program.

Holly Zanville, associate vice chancellor for academic affairs of the Oregon University System, will manage the project, working with the OUS Deans' Council on Teacher Education. Key partners in the project are the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC), the Oregon Department of Education, and the Oregon Education Association.

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