Elon's Project LAUNCH graduates first cohort of AIG-licensed teachers

Eighteen teachers from Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools received AIG licensure through a program offered by the Elon School of Education. 

A collaboration between Elon’s School of Education and Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools has produced its first class of graduates. 

Eighteen CHCCS teachers recently became the first to complete a new 18-month program focused on  (Academically or Intellectually Gifted) licensure for educators. Project LAUNCH (Leveraging All Unique Needs – Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools) is a partnership between the university and the school system and is designed to produce more educators who have the ability to reach gifted students in the classroom, across all grade levels. 

"The partnership with Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools is a wonderful opportunity to provide a collective of practicing teachers with a common vision to expand their skills and methodologies through a creative platform with extensive resources," said Ann Bullock, dean of the School of Education. "The opportunity to provide a program that focuses on differentiation for teachers of all students at the elementary, middle and high school levels in the same district will result in impacting both the teachers’ classroom instruction and the school community. Elon is proud to offer this opportunity."

Members of the first cohort began their coursework in Elon’s full, 12-credit AIG licensure program in February 2018. Instruction was provided by Elon Adjunct Professor Emerita Glenda Crawford and Adjunct Assistant Professor Ren Bryan. The program included three courses and an internship.

With more than 35 percent of students having been identified as AIG, CHCCS has long focused on ensuring teachers and instructional coaches are AIG certified. Most of the class sessions were taught at Morris Grove Elementary School in Chapel Hill so the participating teachers could minimize their travel to Elon’s campus.

“In my classroom, I am now constantly aware of how I am differentiating for the gifted learners,” program participant and fourth-grade teacher Kristin Jackson told the CHCCS board at its May 21 meeting. “Planning extensions have become a consistent part of my curriculum planning routines. I am using the knowledge I gained in this program to transform my teaching practices in relation to my gifted learners by consistently compacting material when mastery is evident according to pre-assessment data. As a result, my students are more animated in their day to day learning in the mathematics classroom, and demonstrate increased levels of engagement and concept acquisition.”

Though the program started as a pilot, its success so far has made it an ongoing partnership, Bullock said. A second Project LAUNCH cohort began its coursework in January and a third cohort is now being recruited.