UNCG strengthens education in NC through innovative partnerships

Posted on June 29, 2022

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STEM Teacher Leader Collaborative Coach Dearing Blankmann with a School of Education doctoral student and first grade student looking at flowers
STEM Teacher Leader Collaborative Coach Dearing Blankmann ’14 with a School of Education doctoral student and first grade student

UNC Greensboro was founded over 130 years ago for the purpose of educating women, and since then, thousands of Spartan alumnae have joined the workforce of women educators making an immeasurable impact across North Carolina and beyond.

On June 27, this impact was celebrated at Guilford County Schools’ (GCS) inaugural Women in Education Tea at the Alumni House on UNCG’s campus, which brought together women who are helping lead and shape education regionally and beyond.

Honored was GCS Superintendent Sharon Contreras’ contributions to the region, including the district’s successful partnership with UNCG’s Institute for Partnerships in Education (IPiE), which helps meet the educational needs of the community and the students of the state.

“GCS values our partnership with UNCG,” said Contreras. “Because of this innovative partnership, GCS has had the opportunity to provide tutoring and mentorship to youth across the district. We have also co-created a Math Internship program that funds practicing and preservice teachers education while learning pedagogical practices under a master teacher. I want to thank UNCG and IPiE for our partnership and collaboration for this event and most importantly for the work we do for our youth.”

Established in 2020, IPiE provides the necessary infrastructure and leadership to facilitate long-term partnerships with education-related agencies – such as school districts, libraries, and community organizations – across North Carolina and beyond.

IPiE connects School of Education faculty and staff with these agencies for impactful partnerships and assists in the development of grants supporting and expanding existing partnership work. This gives undergraduate and graduate students additional opportunities to engage in experiential learning related to partnerships embedded in K-12 and associated community settings.

Since its inception, IPiE has supported longstanding partnerships between the University and community including the Real World English program, Gate City Writes, and the STEM Teacher Leader Collaborative. The Institute has also served as a catalyst for forging new collaborations with Guilford County Schools.

Over the last year, the Institute had the opportunity to work closely with district leaders on two innovative programs that directly impact PK-12 students’ learning opportunities. As a part of the district’s nationally-recognized high-dosage tutoring program, the partnership created graduate assistantships for over 50 UNCG graduate students to work in local schools as tutors. The collaboration also developed an internship program to recruit, prepare, and support new teachers in high needs areas for the district. 

“UNCG’s partnership with GCS has strengthened and expanded under Dr. Contreras’s leadership,” said Holt Wilson, co-director of IPiE. “The Institute is grateful for the opportunities we have had to learn and grow with our colleagues in the district, and we look forward to the continued collaboration under Dr. Oakley’s leadership.”

Student and teacher at Moss Street Partnership school

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Story by Alexandra McQueen, University Communications
Photography by Martin W. Kane and David Row, University Communications


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