Return to Headlines

DPS, UNC at Chapel Hill School of Education win $4.8 million grant from U.S. Department of Education


Durham, N.C. (11/05/2020) – A $4.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education allows Durham Public Schools and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education to work together in recruiting and training teachers from underrepresented groups to work in high-needs schools.

The five-year teacher residency project — called “Diverse and Resilient Educators Advised through Mentorship,” or UNC DREAM — seeks to recruit, educate and place 40 diverse teachers from the Black and Latinx communities into high-needs schools in Durham and provide them with a unique set of mentoring and other supports to help them thrive during their first years and then persist in the profession.

The UNC DREAM program builds on a 25-year history of collaboration between the School of Education and DPS, including a program called Partnership for Authentic Communities of Educators, or PACE.

“This partnership will provide support and opportunities to train, recruit and retain teachers specifically from underrepresented groups to in high-needs schools across the district,” said Dr. Pascal Mubenga, the DPS Superintendent. “We are very appreciative of the continued partnership with UNC-Chapel Hill and the substantial grant through the USDE that will allow us to better serve our students in many years to come.”

The project is funded by the Department of Education’s Effective Educator Development Grant Program, which is aimed at improving student achievement, elevating the quality of the teacher workforce, and recruiting highly qualified teachers.

The project will recruit pre-service teachers, then support them through a revised Master of Arts in Teaching curriculum, followed by a unique combination of mentoring and peer supports that are designed to help the new teachers successfully transition into their first years of teaching. The mentoring supports are built from a joint UNC-Durham Public Schools program designed to help new teachers achieve success in their first years of teaching.

“We are thrilled that, in partnership with Durham Public Schools, the School of Education won this highly competitive award to build and resource a highly innovative recruitment, residency, licensure and retention program for teachers,” said Fouad Abd-El-Khalick, dean of the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Education. “Our faculty, together with our partners at Durham Public Schools  offer a unique combination of expertise and a history of collaboration that I’m confident will lead to this initiative’s success.”

Read more about this project by clicking here.