Louisiana Department of Education Awards LSU Grants to Strengthen Public Schools


Four School of Education, or SOE, faculty members have received Believe and Prepare Educator Preparation Innovation Grants from the Louisiana Department of Education. The grants will develop programs that will substantially grow the Believe and Prepare community, reaching more students, aspiring teachers and school systems across Louisiana.

Grants were given to the following:

  • Estanislado Barrera, Elementary Holmes Graduate Program advisor, and Cynthia DiCarlo, Early Childhood Teacher Preparation Program, received a $200,000 Believe and Prepare grant in partnership with the East Baton Rouge Parish School System, or EBRPSS.

Through this partnership, district needs and goals are merged with program objectives to support yearlong residencies for student teaching, resulting in highly qualified teachers for the future of Louisiana’s children.

  • Jacqueline Bach, SOE associate professor, Sue Weinstein, English associate professor, and Anna West, English Ph.D. student, received a Believe and Prepare grant for $150,000 funding Geaux Teach English.

Geaux Teach English and EBRPSS will establish a pipeline of excellent and committed educators from LSU to the local public schools. The Believe and Prepare funding will benefit the partnership by creating a teacher preparation program that supports the creation of highly qualified mentor teachers and student teachers who are equipped with best practices in the teaching of English. The two-year residency model will provide long-term, engaging experiences for students, preparing them for the demands of their first years of teaching. The research conducted on the proposed program will contribute to the national conversation regarding how to prepare, identify and support strong teachers of English.

  • SOE’s Margaret-Mary Sulentic Dowell, Erin Casey, Paula Summers Calderon and Sassy Wheeler received a $50,000 Believe and Prepare grant, partnering with top administration in Baker schools, as well as selected staff at Baker Heights Elementary and Bakerfield Elementary.

Students in LSU’s Elementary Education Undergraduate program will receive mentorship during their yearlong residencies in Baker schools. The grant also provides funding for professional development, not only for the teacher candidates, but also the classroom-based teachers on how to integrate the arts into social studies and literacy coursework.