Empowering Teacher Learning


The Empowering Teacher Learning (ETL) Project is a 5-year, $12M research project funded by the US Department of Education that will measure the impacts of a teacher-directed professional learning program in rural, western North Carolina middle schools.


The Gaining Retention and Effectiveness through Advancing Teacher-directed STEM (GREAT STEM) Professional Learning is a 3-year, $1M research project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) that will measure the impacts of a teacher-directed professional learning program in rural, western North Carolina high schools.

Our Model

Click here to learn more about the Empowering Teacher Learning (ETL) Project, our professional learning model, benefits, and more.

What are teachers saying?

“Participating with the ETL project has been very worthwhile. I appreciate the self-directed learning aspect so much. Being able to choose the micro-credentials that best relate to goals that I had set for myself professionally makes so much sense! It was helpful to also have a navigator assigned that could help us troubleshoot any issues that we were having. I love that I received valid information that was pertinent to what I needed/wanted to know rather than just "checking a box" to say that I had had PD this year.”
- ETL Participant


 “I LOVED it. I was allowed the freedom to actually find a PD that would enhance my learning , knowledge and classroom. It was rigorus , but in a productive way.”
- GREAT STEM Participant

Who are our partners?





Staff Directory



“I have always been a seeker of knowledge and skillsets. GREAT STEM has given the opportunity to seek out different teaching techniques without having to sit through icebreakers, etc. It is perfect because as you look through the micro-credential list, you see things that make you go "hmmm, I might can use that in the future" or "hmmm. I could have used that and maybe I should learn that for future use."
- GREAT STEM Participant

“I really enjoyed this. I got to select what I wanted to work on based on the needs of my own students doing projects that we have been working on, and I think the kids got a lot out of it. It was much better than the typical PD where you think-- how can I apply this in my own classroom? The question was inherently answered as I was doing the micro-credential.”
- ETL Participant

Latest News

ETL Navigators from left: Dr. Erin West, Holly Weaver, Sherry Thomas-Paddie, and Heather Childress attend the ISSDL Symposium in February

ETL Navigators Present at 37th International Self-Directed Learning Symposium

Empowering Teacher Learning (ETL) Navigators—Heather Childress, Sherry Thomas-Paddie, Holly Weaver, and Dr. Erin West—presented at the 37th Intern...

EPFP Cohort

Eight from the RCOE Participate in the Education Policy Fellowship Program

Eight faculty and staff in the Reich College of Education (RCOE), including four CAP staff members, will be participating in the Education Policy Fell...

ETL Loves Teachers

ETL Reflections

Rachel Nelson, Empowering Teacher Learning Assistant Director for Teacher Outreach, reflects on the progress and growth of the program over the past f...