Lipscomb's Ayers Institute lands $1.2M grant

THEC monies to help faculty prepare new teachers for new math standards

The Ayers Institute for Teacher Learning and Innovation within Lipscomb University’s College of Education has secured a $1.2 million grant to improve teacher performance and student outcomes throughout Tennessee.

The grant, announced Monday and secured from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, comes on the heels of the institute's founding this past April.

With the money, the Ayers Institute can create resources for university faculty to use when preparing new teachers to employ the national and state-adopted Common Core Standards. Previously, THEC highlighted Lipscomb in the 2011 Report Card on the Effectiveness of Teacher Training Programs as one of the state’s three top performing teacher preparation programs in that year.

The THEC grant brings the Ayers Institute funding to $2.2 million to be spent over five years. The Ayers Institute has already hired a program director for Common Core programs and has convened a Common Core Advisory Board made up of representatives from higher education institutions throughout Tennessee.

Candice McQueen serves as dean of LU’s College of Education and as interim director of the Ayers Institute.

“The Tennessee Higher Education Commission is excited to partner with the Ayers … on this important endeavor,” Dr. Richard G. Rhoda, THEC executive director said in a release. “This program will ensure that future teachers are prepared to help students learn on the first day in the classroom.”