Contact: Wendel Sloan at 505.562.2253
Reporter: Shelley Gilmore
PORTALES — The state of New Mexico choseEastern New Mexico University to host the Center for TeachingExcellence (CTE) in 1989, with funding coming in 1990. "The stateselected ENMU because of our strong reputation in education. It wasvery appropriate," said Dr. Elwynn Hulett, who has been the director ofthe CTE since August of 1995.
TheCTE is funded by the New Mexico State Legislature through ENMU. The CTEsupports and provides research and professional development resourcesto the public school and universities within the state so they canimplement and research effective instruction at all levels frompre-school through university.
Whatmakes the CTE so unique in New Mexico is that they can systematicallylink the expertise of university faculty in research, content area,assessment, and dissemination with the expertise of innovative, caringpublic school educators who are motivated to make a difference for NewMexico students, according to Hulett.
"New Mexico is ahead of the game," Hulett said. "This is a unique program in the United States."
CTEcurrently sponsors five categories of grants for New Mexico publicschool and university educators. The CTE grants have been awarded to amajority of the 89 New Mexico school districts and to faculty fromEastern New Mexico University, New Mexico Highlands University, NewMexico Institute of Mining and Technology, New Mexico State University,University of New Mexico, and Western New Mexico University.
TheAction Research Grants complement research activities that give up to$3,000 per team of public school teachers to implement instructionalinnovations in classrooms and assess results. Hulett said, "Over thepast 14 years CTE has given grants to all six universities and 68 outof the 89 public school districts in the state. Four out of the fiveuniversities now use Action Research as an option for teachers tryingto get their master's degree."
Publicschool teachers who receive an Action Research Grant are trained forfour days on their research questions, research methodology, dataanalysis, and writing up and presenting the research during the yearbefore the Annual CTE Conference in Taos, N.M., each June. At theconference, teachers and university collaborators present the resultsof their Action Research projects.
Asidefrom grants, the CTE also offers numerous resource materials whichinclude books, journals, videos, software, and other materials relevantto improving instruction in grades K-12 and higher education. Hulettsaid, "All books focus on education. They come from special state andfederal funds, so must be housed outside Golden Library, but are stillpart of the Golden Library Database."
Anotherpiece of the CTE is the New Mexico Software Clearinghouse which allowseducators to review and evaluate software before purchases are made byschools, school districts and colleges.
CTEalso produces "Teaching Excellence" newsletters that provide projectand research results that go to 23,000 teachers and administrators inNew Mexico and 3,000 university faculty. Also, "Action Research GrantSummaries" are published yearly and disseminated to schools anddistricts.
Hulett thinks thatCTE helps education statewide. In fact, he says that four other stateshave contacted him and would like to get a program like the CTE startedin their state. Other state educators are interested, based on thepower of the Action Research program that CTE has had and beingsuccessfully hosted by ENMU.
"TheCenter of Teaching Excellence is a very innovative and unique program.The fact that it is located on the ENMU campus is very fortunate and agreat advantage for Eastern's own education programs," said Hulett.