A $13.3 Million Grant is Awarded to Voorhees


A $13.3 Million Grant is Awarded to Voorhees

October 05, 2020

Voorhees College was recently awarded $13,345,246.00 for three years to implement Rigorous Instruction Supports Equity (RISE). Rise was awarded by the Department of Education along with 12 other programs in the Supporting Effective Educator’s Grant (SEED) annual competition. 

SEED supports evidence-based educator development models that prepare teachers, principals, and other school leaders serving students in high-need schools. According to the Department of Education, the purpose of these grants is to increase the number of highly effective educators by supporting the implementation of evidence-based practices that prepare, develop, or enhance the skills of educators. 

Dr. W. Franklin Evans, ninth president and CEO, said the funds will make a major difference in the lives of our students who wish to pursue a career path in teaching. “The RISE initiative demonstrates our commitment to impact South Carolina’s and the nation’s increasing lack of qualified candidates who will enter the teaching profession.” 

According to Dr. Ronnie Hopkins, co-project director and provost/vice president for academic affairs, RISE will also build a network of support for educators to improve in practice, raise retention of exemplary teachers, and promote student achievement in high-need schools in South Carolina Federal Opportunity Zones. “Our planning team that consists of Voorhees and public school educators and leaders in the field of improving educator practice, conducted a thorough needs assessment, completed an extensive review of teacher quality research, and assessed the impact of evidence-based practices to build RISE.” 

Dr. Tywana Chenault-Hemby, co-project director and chairperson of the Department of Humanities, Education, and Social Sciences, said most uniquely, RISE will improve student academic performance and prepare students for employment. “Additionally, these students will achieve responsible citizenship and fulfilling lives, by better preparing the educators who are responsible for their success.” 

In South Carolina, there are 135 opportunity Zones. RISE educators will be eligible to be placed and serve in any school district within schools in federal opportunity zones. The critical objectives of RISE will support existing teachers as they strive to become exemplary and, create new teachers who will have in-depth knowledge of Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics and other subjects. All while offering traditional and non-traditional, alternative certifications resulting in South Carolina teaching licenses through multiple partnership arrangements with approved educator preparation providers. 

For more information, contact the Office of Communications, at 803-780-1191 or at communications@voorhees.edu.