Christian Higher Education Since 1892

Greenville College Helps Teachers Prepare for Common Core State Standards

Greenville College Helps Teachers Prepare for Common Core State Standards

Greenville College Helps Teachers Prepare for Common Core State Standards

Convenient, affordable, and effective - Karlene Johnson knows what kind of resources teachers want to help them teach the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for mathematics. "To date, 45 states have adopted the standards," she explains. "Teachers need user-friendly professional development options in the specific skills the standards address."

An associate professor of math and science education at Greenville College in south central Illinois, Johnson knows that grade level instruction in Common Core skills is key to truly effective training. Her search for just such a program, however, uncovered mostly one-day workshops that lumped grade levels together and gave teachers too much information, too little time to process it, and, at the end of the day, no practice. 

"No program easily bridged the CCSSwith a teacher's specific grade level needs," observed the veteran instructor. Johnson, who frequently works with teachers and observes in classrooms, designed a program that would fill that void. Greenville College will launch the web-based professional development program June 1. 

The user-friendly training presents Common Core math instruction targeted for teaching math at the kindergarten, first or second grade levels. Topics for each grade level are divided into modules that each take about four weeks to complete. The full kindergarten training consists of four modules, and the full first and second grade training consists of five modules each. Each module costs $95.  

"We have made the program user-friendly, particularly for teachers who are new to online learning," says Johnson, who has guided many novice online learners to rewarding experiences learning via the web. "Teachers will enter our website, pay a fee, and start learning immediately. We have kept this simple. There is no wait time. They don't have to apply to become a student."

Simplicity also extends to the format of the program. "We are taking a 'less is more' approach," Johnson explains.

One, there is less information to process at once. Typical CCSS training takes place in one day, packing content into a one-size-fits-all range of grade levels, K-6th, for example. Teachers must mine the material for the parts that are relevant for the students in their classrooms. The grade level focus in Greenville College's program saves them time and ensures immediate relevance to their work.

Also, participants in this program will "lose" less information. When training comes as a one day event, full to the last minute with new information, teachers often leave hoping they will remember even a portion of what was taught. Online learning, however, provides teachers with multiple opportunities throughout the duration of a module, to visit and revisit material. A practice component in each module reinforces the instruction. By immediately doing what they learn, teachers more readily retain the material.  

The program also helps teachers spend less time looking for teaching resources. An online resource center saves them hours of searching for grade-appropriate activities, games, assessment tasks and teaching strategies.

"One of my favorite aspects of the course modules," says Johnson, "is the discussion forum. We bring together teachers of the same grade level from across the U.S. to share their experiences, questions, and if they wish, even their resources for teaching Common Core Math." 

Upon the conclusion of each module, program participants will receive certificates of completion. Teachers can earn up to 20 hours of continuing education credit per module. For more information about Greenville College's training in Common Core State Standards visit, or contact Janice Chapman by calling 618.664.6751. Or, send her an email:

Greenville College is a four-year accredited Christian liberal arts school with more than 1,500 undergraduate and graduate students. Founded in 1892 and affiliated with the Free Methodist Church, the college is located in Greenville, Illinois, 45 miles east of St. Louis.

This story was published on April 17, 2013

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