Analysis of the Title III Professional Development Program

Authorized under Title III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the National Professional Development Program (NPDP) provides grants to Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs), working in partnership with states and districts, to support projects designed to increase the pool of teachers highly qualified to work with English language learners (ELLs) and to increase the skills of teachers already working with these students. The goal of the NPDP, ultimately, is to improve instruction to ELL students, who represent a fast-growing, geographically-expanding, and diverse group of students with language-related and other educational needs.

For the Program and Policy Studies Service, AIR is gathering lessons learned about characteristics of pre-service and in-service teacher education programs, courses, and activities that are intended to improve instruction for ELLs, both through review of the literature and case studies of current and former NPDP grantees. This area is ripe for systematic review, as IHEs cope with a limited evidence base and respond to differing state policy contexts. AIR will: 

  • Conduct a systematic review of the literature on effective characteristics of pre-service and in-service teacher education programs focused on teaching for ELLs; and 
  • Conduct case studies of 15 current and 9 former grantees to learn more about the approaches being implemented under NPDP, their strengths and challenges, strategies for tracking students and sustaining the programs, and overall impacts on the IHEs’ approaches to preparing teachers to work with ELLs.