Project Details

Project NEXUS: A Competitive Title III National Professional Development Program Funded by the Office of English Language Acquisition of the U. S. Department of Education Executive Summary

Executive Summary

Project NEXUS represents a unique and collaborative partnership between the University of North Texas, Denton Independent School District, Lewisville Independent School District, and the Texas Education Agency’s Region 10 Education Service Center.   This partnership aims to provide high quality professional development for in-service teachers, teacher education faculty, teacher education candidates, and administrators to enhance their knowledge and skills on how to improve the mathematics and science academic and linguistic achievement of secondary English language learners (ELLs). The project is for 5 years from May 1, 2012 to April 30, 2017 and it was funded at $985,700.
The goals of Project NEXUS are:

Goal 1. Enhance the knowledge base of middle and high school in-service teachers in  mathematics and science from the two surrounding local educational agencies (LEAs), Denton and Lewisville, through customized professional development for teachers to acquire the instructional skills and strategies to teach academic content and language development and acquisition to increase the academic achievement, graduation rates and entry into postsecondary education institutions for middle and high school ELLs.

Goal 2. Enhance the knowledge-base of the UNT education faculty in the mathematics and science 9-12 teacher certification programs through ongoing course content analysis and advanced professional development to integrate current evidence-based research and standards-based instruction into the certification degree-granting programs for effective instruction and assessment for ELLs.

Goal 3. Analyze and evaluate project data to make project improvement decisions in order to impact the knowledge and skills of project participants, and make instructional improvement decisions in order to further ELL content mastery and narrow the achievement gap.

Major milestones that Project NEXUS will accomplish are assuring that 200 in-service teachers and 22 administrators from two school districts will have received and implemented professional development on the SIOP model and ELPS.  Fifty (50) teachers will have received individual coaching, and 50 in-service teachers will have added ESL to their initial certificate.

At the University of North Texas, 20 teacher education faculty and 100 teacher candidates will also have received and implemented professional development on the SIOP model and ELPS. Additionally, 50 teacher candidates will have passed the EDBE 4490 and the EDBE 4470 courses for more in-depth training on educating ELLs and 40 in-service teacher will have completed the EDBE 5570 and EDBE 5590 graduate level courses at UNT on a volunteer basis.  All these milestones will improve the academic achievement of secondary ELLs.