The Mississippi Program of Research and Evaluation for Public Schools (PREPS) announced May 10 that William Carey University in Hattiesburg has been selected as the new headquarters for the program.
“PREPS is excited about associating with William Carey University to work to improve teaching and learning in Mississippi,” said Dr. Lee Childress, president of the PREPS board of directors. “William Carey University is recognized for its outstanding educational programs and with it expanding the focus statewide it is a natural fit for this partnership with PREPS, Mississippi's largest statewide educational consortium.”
PREPS was organized in 1976 and the membership currently includes 72 school districts from across the state. The non-profit organization is governed by a nine-member board of directors made up of superintendents from each of the old congressional districts. PREPS was previously housed at Mississippi State and the board voted last week to move the program to WCU.
“The William Carey University School of Education is honored and excited to now be the home of PREPS as we continue to advance the mission of the university in the areas of scholarship and service,” said Dr. Ben Burnett, dean of the School of Education. “We are also happy that it allows us to better serve the districts across the state of Mississippi and work as partners to improve education in our state.”
Burnett said after spending 28 years in K-12 education in Mississippi he understands the need for intense professional development and collaboration for teachers across the state. Burnett is also a former PREPS board member and knows first-hand the quality of the services offered by this prestigious organization.
Childress said, “Dr. Ben Burnett has provided exceptional leadership at William Carey University and PREPS looks forward to working with him and William Carey University in providing services to Mississippi school districts.”
WCU President Dr. Tommy King said, “The decision by PREPS to partner with William Carey is another indicator of the strength of our school of education. I am confident that this will be a very fruitful partnership.”