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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU College of Education joins national alliance

The College of Education at New Mexico State University has been selected as a partner by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) Earth System Science Education Alliance (ESSEA).

s a professional development program for pre-service and in-service middle and high school teachers. Partners receive funding and training to offer a series of online Earth-system science courses geared toward teachers of specific grade levels and aligned to national education standards. The online courses will be available January 2008 and are open to teachers of grades 4-9 in New Mexico.

Susan Brown, of the educational research and budgeting department of the College of Education, said teachers in New Mexico need to increase the earth science content in their classes, especially in rural areas.

"One of our strengths is that we are dedicated to providing content that will appeal to the local population," Brown said. "We are creating modules that make the material apply to our area."

Brown said she wants to create as many avenues as possible for the study of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and the online courses provide opportunities for those who are not able to be on campus to participate.

The ESSEA held a national competition to select the partners and associates. Selected institutions include state universities, private colleges, and science research and educational organizations spread among 22 states and the District of Columbia.

Along with Brown, leaders of the project are Prentice Baptiste, Jennifer Villa and David Rutledge of the NMSU College of Education.

ESSEA is funded though a cooperative agreement awarded to IGES by the National Science Foundation under its Geoscience Teacher Training (GEO-Teach) program, which supports projects designed to improve the quality of geoscience education, primarily at the middle and high school levels. Geo-Teach projects provide pre-service teacher training, in-service professional development and access to high-quality curricular materials.