Dr. Mark Schneider, Director of the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES), recently offered high praise for a program HumRRO is supporting, which is bringing rigorous, evidence-based professional development opportunities to K-12 educators in the Appalachian region. By deploying cutting-edge technology in a self-paced learning environment, the Appalachian Support for Specialized Education Training (ASSET) program’s competency-based professional development allows teachers to develop their skills and earn micro-credentials through modules that include engaging videos, guided practices and formative assessments. These micro-credentials can then be used for licensure renewal and to obtain graduate credit.

Dr. Schneider noted that the ASSET program “uses evidence-based tools and resources from the IES What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) practice guides” and praised the impact the program is having, particularly in rural areas. To date, approximately 1,400 teachers and administrators across 6 states are either enrolled or scheduled to be enrolled, with nearly 200 having completed at least one micro-credential.

Led by Radford University, the ASSET team includes HumRRO, Rockman et al., simSchool, and SRI Education. HumRRO’s role encompasses a variety of research and assessment-related activities, including the validation of the simulation-based assessment scoring rubrics. HumRRO will also investigate the alignment among the ASSET assessments, content, and the overall program goals. We are very excited to play such a vital role in providing innovative, high-quality professional development opportunities to Appalachian educators. For more information on the ASSET program, please visit https://www.radford.edu/asset.