Project RISE

Realizing and Increasing Student Excellence

Project RISE at the College of Education and Health Professions offers innovative, high quality, graduate level professional development for teachers. Educators serve an increasingly culturally and linguistically diverse student population. The goal of the Realizing and Increasing Student Excellence program is to increase the number of ESL-endorsed (English as a Second Language), in-service teachers in Northwest Arkansas.

After the successful implementation of Project Teach Them All (2007-12), the University of Arkansas was awarded a $1.8 million Professional Development Grant from the Office of Language Acquisition of the U.S. Department of Education to implement Project RISE. The program (part of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction) works in partnership with five school districts in Northwest Arkansas — Bentonville, Decatur, Green Forest, Springdale and Cossatot River. In the five-year cycle of this grant, 100 teachers are expected to participate. The first two cohorts of teachers have successfully completed the program. The third cohort of teachers began in fall 2016, expected to complete the program in May 2018.

This innovative, site-based, online learning program for in-service teachers utilizes the nationally-recognized, research-based CLASSIC Model. Its framework includes four graduate courses taught in professional learning communities and includes biography-driven reflective coaching. The most fascinating component of the project is that it is job-embedded where teachers engage in theory-into-practice applications tailored to the English Learners (ELs) needs in their own schools. The ultimate goal is improved classroom instruction and academic performance of ELs from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.

For more information, contact:

Principal Investigator: Janet Penner-Williams, Ed.D., Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instruction,

Co-Principal Investigator and Project Director: Diana Gonzales Worthen, Ph.D.,

Research Associate: Eva I. Diaz, Ph.D.,