OSU-Tulsa, OSU-CHS team up to provide free professional development for educators statewide
Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences Project ECHO team and Oklahoma State University-Tulsa have joined forces in creating a virtual network for school administrators and teachers statewide to consult with experts about improving educational prospects for students in rural and underserved communities.
TeleED ECHO launched today with a live virtual learning session between OSU faculty and school administrators. The studio is located at the OSU-Tulsa campus.
According to the latest U.S. Department of Education data, Oklahoma has the 15th worst high school graduation rate in the nation. The state also ranks among the lowest for student proficiency and school funding.
“One of our challenges continues to be the scarcity of funding to support professional development opportunities for teachers, particularly in rural areas of the state,” said Ed Harris, Ph.D., OSU professor and Williams Chair of Education Leadership in School Administration. “TeleED ECHO will bring teachers together with faculty experts during regular live video conferencing sessions to address specific problems and learn current best practices.”
The program is designed to create a collaborative learning environment through the use of technology. Educators will:
- Learn latest best practices
- Apply case-based learning
- Evaluate and monitor student outcomes
- Gain free continuing education credits
The idea was to use the telehealth model called Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) that OSU-CHS launched in 2016 to help provide rural physicians access to medical experts in specific fields to provide better patient care and improve rural health.
OSU-CHS was the first in Oklahoma to adopt the ECHO concept, which was established in 2003 by the University of New Mexico. Project ECHO now operates more than 90 hubs worldwide. OSU-CHS now offers nine service lines through Project ECHO.
“We are adapting the Project ECHO model for health care to the education specialty with the purpose of reducing education disparities in rural and isolated parts of Oklahoma,” said Katherine Curry, Ed.D., OSU associate professor and John A. and Donnie Brock Professor in Educational Leadership and Policy. “Other states, including New Mexico and Wyoming, are finding success in improving educational outcomes through the Project ECHO model. I believe we will too.”
Project ECHO TeleED administrators plan to set regular biweekly teleconference sessions. Sessions will start out between OSU faculty and Oklahoma school superintendents to identify problems and collaborate on solutions. Eventually, teachers throughout the state will get regular training from OSU faculty.