College of Education faculty member Katherine F. Thompson has been named director of Georgia’s Teacher Quality Higher Education Program.
The program, funded by the U.S. Department of Education and administered by UGA for the University System of Georgia Board of Regents, is designated to enhance the teaching of science, mathematics, language arts, reading and social studies at the elementary, middle and high school levels in public and private schools.
More than 600 teachers across the state participate each year in TQ professional development programs and workshops offered by faculty at USG institutions. The time frame for programs ranges from several days to a year, often beginning in summer, while others begin in fall and spring. Some have follow-up sessions during the school year.
Projects have included hands-on ecology activities at the State Botanical Garden, discovering environmental sciences by becoming a tourist in your own town and understanding how to utilize traditional nursery rhymes and fairy tales to develop students’ literacy skills.
Professional learning unit credits or graduate course credits are offered for most programs.
The TQ program distributes grants ranging from $5,000 to $75,000 for a 12-month period, with the possibility of 15-month funding available. About $1.9 million will be distributed this year.
Thompson is a public service associate in the department of elementary and social studies education where she is a faculty member in the Middle School Education Program, teaching undergraduate and graduate-level courses and leading outreach efforts in Georgia schools.
She also serves as a faculty liaison between the College of Education and local school districts in the COE Office of School Engagement. She is a 2009-2010 Service-Learning Senior Scholar at UGA.
Thompson succeeds Thomas Koballa, a professor of science education, who left UGA July 1 to become dean of the College of Education at Georgia Southern University.