This year, the Glasscock School’s enrollments hit an all-time high—nearly 20,000. More than half of those enrollments can be attributed to the continued growth of our education program areas which are overseen by Jennifer Gigliotti, EdD, executive director of the Center for College Readiness and associate dean of the Glasscock School. Teacher professional development was established in 1994 on a small scale focusing on summer training for AP and Pre-AP teachers. Gigliotti, being no stranger to the classroom and curriculum development, has expanded the center’s offerings substantially over the last few years from its humble beginnings nearly 20 years ago.
How long have you been at GSCS, and what drew you to the school to begin with?
I joined the Glasscock School in 2007. I was intrigued by the challenge set forth by the school leadership. At that time, the Teacher Professional Development program portfolio consisted of the AP Summer Institute and a spring IB DP Workshops. It was the goal of the school's leadership to increase programming and diversify our portfolio.
How has your program area changed over time?
Over the last six years, our program portfolio has grown tremendously and our impact on K-12 education both at the state and national level is significant. Today, the Glasscock School is currently one of the largest K-12 training institutes in the country. Since 1994, the department, now known as the Center for College Readiness, has trained more than 45,000 educators and students from all 50 states and 37 countries through a variety of programming. In the 2012-2013 academic year, the center trained more than 8,000 teachers, administrators, counselors and students. Program participation has increased by 219 percent since 2007 due to our program diversification and growing appreciation among our constituents of the importance of college readiness initiatives.
The campus comes to life with the AP Summer Institute (APSI). How do you pull off this impressive accomplishment?
Each summer when we execute the APSI it's quite a feat of teamwork and camaraderie. We hire an army of student workers and extra support staff, and we all come together around the common goal of training 2,000+ teachers in three weeks in AP and Pre-AP strategies and content. Additionally, over 70 instructors come to campus from all over the country. It's a lot of work, but it's very rewarding, and we always have some good laughs. The APSI is the ultimate example of what can be accomplished when you have a strong team.
What do you enjoy the most about GSCS?
What I like most about working at GSCS is that I have the freedom to be creative. When I have an idea that I think is good, I have always been supported to pursue that idea and turn it into a reality. In turn, I have given that same level of creative license to the program directors at CCR. I think the end result is that people are developing really innovative professional development programs, and I attribute our rapid growth in large part to this.
For more information on the Center for College Readiness visit collegeready.rice.edu.
Bonus: See some brochure covers from past APSI events.