Led by Dr. Carrie Wachter Morris, members of the Department of Counseling and Educational Development (CED) inside of the UNC Greensboro School of Education have been awarded a $5.6 million grant from the United States Department of Education. The grant, to be used over five years, is a training grant to directly address the large, unmet need for the preparation of mental health professionals in public schools.

Wachter Morris, along with CED team members Drs. Jennifer Deaton and L. DiAnne Borders, will implement a school-based mental health partnership with the Alamance-Burlington School System (ABSS). This partnership will build upon the department’s current, successful relationship with Rockingham County Schools (RCS) to expand the pipeline of school mental health professionals into high-need public schools.

Said Wachter Morris, “Engaging with ABSS is just one way that we’re building on the foundation of the  highly successful partnership between CED and RCS. We are excited to expand the availability of high-quality, professional school counselors in local high-need schools – both during and after graduate students’ internship experiences. In addition to increasing the size and scope of our school counseling internship, we’re engaging with activities at the undergraduate and secondary levels. For example, we’re also building a new undergraduate class that will form the foundation for an undergraduate certificate, and working to expand the pipeline of school-based mental health professionals, and specifically, professional school counselors to serve the state’s K-12 students.”

Both ABSS and RCS will welcome high-quality graduate student school counseling interns into their district. Over the course of the grant, a total of 24 interns will be placed in schools in each of the two districts, for a total of 48 interns. The first cohort of ABSS interns will begin their service in the fall of 2024 and will serve over the course of the university’s academic year.

Wachter Morris and her team will monitor the progress and success of the interns and the program through ongoing feedback from interns, their university and site supervisors, and RCS and ABSS personnel, as well as looking at outcomes from activities implemented throughout the five year funding period.

The UNC Greensboro School of Education has been ranked No. 58 among the 2023 Best Online Master’s in Education Programs and No. 19 among the 2023 Best Online Master’s in Education Programs for Veterans by U.S. News & World Report

U.S. News assessed schools in the Master’s in Education based on a variety of objective factors, such as student engagement, faculty credentials, and services and technologies. 

Said Randy Penfield, Dean of the UNCG School of Education, “We are pleased to once again be recognized as having one of the nation’s top online Master’s in Education programs. This ranking is a reflection of the work being done by our talented faculty members, as well as the students participating in our degree programs. We are equally as proud of the ranking when it comes to the experience we provide for veterans. UNCG has always embraced veteran students and the School of Education is happy to welcome veterans to our online master’s programs.”

Designed for individuals looking to complete or further their education, this year’s edition evaluates more than 1,800 online bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. The Best Online Programs include rankings of bachelor’s programs as well as the following master’s-level disciplines: MBA, business (non-MBA), computer information technology (including computer science), criminal justice/criminology, education, engineering, and nursing. While the methodologies are different for each discipline, they all incorporate metrics specific to online learning. The rankings only include degree-granting programs that are offered primarily online by regionally accredited institutions. 

“Most of the undergraduate programs in the Best Online Programs rankings are degree completion programs, meaning the vast majority of their students already have some college credit,” said Liana Loewus, managing editor of Education at U.S. News. “The methodologies are developed with those students in mind, setting these rankings apart from those that are focused on recent high school graduates pursuing higher education for the first time.” 

Prospective students can see how UNCG compares to other institutions and how the rankings are calculated on USNews.com

About U.S. News & World Report 

U.S. News & World Report is the global leader in quality rankings that empower consumers, business leaders and policy officials to make better, more informed decisions about important issues affecting their lives and communities. A multifaceted digital media company with Education, Health, Money, Travel, Cars, News, Real Estate and 360 Reviews platforms, U.S. News provides rankings, independent reporting, data journalism, consumer advice and U.S. News Live events. More than 40 million people visit USNews.com each month for research and guidance. Founded in 1933, U.S. News is headquartered in Washington, D.C.

In conjunction with the UNCG Doctoral Hooding Ceremony that occurred on Thursday, December 8, the Department of Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations (ELC) held a lunchtime celebration for its Summer and Fall 2022 doctoral graduates.

The newly hooded doctors from ELC included:

Doctorate in Educational Leadership (EdD)

  • Michael Bayless
  • Kim Britt
  • Tina Chestnut
  • Robin Harris
  • Tiffany Newsome
  • Christina Richardson
  • Tracy Smith Pennington

Doctor in Philosophy in Educational Studies with a concentration in Cultural Foundations (PhD)

  • Cristina Dominguez
  • Chad Harris
  • Nicole Hall

At the celebration, ELC also recognized Dr. Carl Lashley, the department’s longtime colleague who retired this past summer. Dr. Lashley’s dedicated career in K-12 and higher education included 24 years of service to ELC, the SOE, and UNCG. He also remains a nationally-recognized expert in the study and practice of specialized education services and educational law, and he has provided support to educational leadership efforts across North Carolina and the nation. Among Lashley’s many contributions, he received true renown as an eager, prolific, and supportive dissertation chair and committee member. To provide a sense of his influence in this arena, during his career he chaired or co-chaired over 80 dissertation committees to completion. Fittingly, he hooded Dr. Christina Richardson earlier that morning.

The drop-in reception began soon after the conclusion of the UNCG Doctoral Hooding Ceremony. Refreshments and hors d’oeuvres were served as friends, family, students, and colleagues gathered to honor the doctoral graduates and Dr. Lashley.

ELC thanks Barbara Halbert, Akila Hardy-Cole, Dr. Tiffanie Lewis-Durham, Sharon Pengal, Jewell Pradier, Kristina Joyner, and Chris Rash for their assistance. And big, big appreciation from ELC to Nor Othman-Le Saux for her efforts in organizing and executing the event.

When schools moved to remote status during the height of the COVID pandemic, numerous students were unable to fully participate in classes due to the lack of broadband internet access at their homes. Backed by a grant from the United States Department of Education, three members of the School of Education are joining a team led by UNC Greensboro’s Information Technology Services (ITS) unit to combat that issue.

Drs. Holt Wilson, Faith Freeman, and Sandra Ayoo will assist on a project headed by Rob Gorrell from ITS that will serve as a pilot program to provide internet access to students at two elementary schools in the Guilford County Schools (GCS) system. Wilson and Freeman are the co-directors of UNCG’s Institute for Partnerships in Education. Wilson is also an associate professor in the Department of Teacher Education and Higher Education. Ayoo is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Research Methodology.

The plan is to add access points on buses and community centers along with putting modems in students’ homes. The group is in the early stages of the project that will impact over 1,000 students and is working to identify the partner schools. 

While GCS is the third-largest school district in North Carolina, approximately half of students lack access to high-speed internet connectivity. When the district transitioned to remote learning in response to COVID, more than 7,000 students became disconnected to their classrooms due to not having internet access. GCS worked to combat that deficiency by mobilizing wifi-equipped buses to neighborhoods where connectivity was an issue.

That measure was just a stopgap, however, and the lack of internet availability for these students continues to have an impact on their educational opportunities.

This pilot program will provide data that will be important in future decisions made for K-12 broadband technology programs. This pilot will produce data on multiple technology models across multiple network backhauls, including those that are commonly available and emerging technologies.

After the initial phase that includes identifying the partner schools and testing multiple technology models, the project will field test models and hold training workshops for teachers, parents, and students. This will allow for the technology to be in place for a deployment at the beginning of the 2023-24 academic year.