MSDE Grants More Than $200,000 to Hood College

Money will fund LEAP program for emergency academic preparedness

FREDERICK, Maryland—The Maryland State Department of Education has awarded two professors at Hood College a Governor’s Emergency Education Relief grant of $203,418.

Suzanne Hiller, Ph.D., and Rebecca Grove, Ph.D., both assistant professors of education, were awarded the grant for their project “Leaders for Emergency Academic Preparedness” (LEAP). LEAP is a professional learning and emergency instructional delivery program, which derives from what has been learned about the educational challenges, needs and possibilities presented by the coronavirus pandemic.

The LEAP program is designed to give voice and community to teachers who have faced the educational challenges associated with the coronavirus pandemic and emergency online instruction. LEAP provides teachers with professional development and resources for working with at-risk students in these new teaching conditions. The program features learning communities where teachers can collaborate, problem solve, and reflect together in a supportive environment.

“The LEAP program is designed to empower teachers in novel circumstances, such as the current pandemic,” said Hiller. “Teachers who are working in isolation can join this supportive professional network to learn new strategies and become leaders in developing guidelines to support other educators in times of emergency situations across the state of Maryland.”

Based on their experiences, LEAP participants will develop “Guidelines for Emergency Instructional Preparedness,” a publication that can have far-reaching impact on the education profession, and teachers will be able to apply for micro-grants to extend and share their program-related work.

Teachers interested in this opportunity may contact Dr. Hiller at or Dr. Grove at

Hood College is an independent, liberal arts college, offering more than 25 bachelor’s degrees, four pre-professional programs, 19 master’s degrees programs, two doctorates and 10 post-baccalaureate certificates. Located in historic Frederick, near Washington, D.C., Baltimore and the I-270 technology corridor, Hood gives students access to countless internships and research opportunities.

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