University Faculty Receives Funds To Study Effective Educators

Dr. Carolyn McCreight and Dr. Claudio Salinas, faculty members in the Texas A&M International University College of Education, recently received two grants to study characteristics of successful principals in border regions.

The first was a Texas Center for Border Research Grant to study characteristics of successful principals in Laredo, Texas as defined by the Texas Academic Excellence Indicator System (TAEIS). The study included 13 elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school.

The research for this grant is complete and the researchers identified three essential keys to high performing schools: a collaborative development of a school vision and mission supporting high student achievement, continuous monitoring and adjusting instruction to meet the needs of students, and the creation of a positive school climate including a "family" campus atmosphere supportive of student success.

Dr. McCreight and Dr. Salinas also received a Regent's Initiative Grant to study successful principals in South Texas as defined by the TAEIS. The study is seeking information from 162 school principals. Dr. Rosa Marķa Vida, dean of the College of Education, said the studies will be valuable to area educators.

"The College of Education continuously seeks opportunities to study features that contribute to the creation and maintenance of successful schools. It will be interesting to not only determine features of effectiveness but more importantly, to have an opportunity to share our findings with our local school partners," she explained.

McCreight is an associate professor of education in the Department of Professional Programs and joined the University in 1998 after spending 28 years in public education. She teaches graduate courses leading to principalship and superintendency. She earned her doctoral degree in education administration from Baylor University and her M. Ed. in special education from Texas A&M University-Commerce. She received her B.S. in vocational education from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.

Salinas is an assistant professor of educational administration. He received his Ph.D. in historical, philosophical and social foundations of education from the University of Oklahoma. He also holds an M.S. in educational supervision from Texas A&I University- Kingsville, and a B.S.E.E. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas-Austin. He has served as principal at all school levels and was also an interim-superintendent for a small school district.

For more information, please contact the College of Education at 956.326.2420, visit offices at the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 328 or visit the University's homepage, University office hours are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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