Eastern Connecticut State University
Center for
Early Childhood Education
Text Only Version
Eastern's Home Page

Major Accomplishments of the CPEL Project

Accomplishment #1: Increased the Knowledge and Skills of Preschool Teachers and Paraprofessionals

CPEL provided ongoing, for-credit professional development to 50 preschool teachers, assistant teachers, special education staff, and paraprofessionals in oral language, phonological awareness, vocabulary, early writing, and other topics related to language development and early literacy. Highlights of these efforts include:

  • Provided 158 professional development sessions to teachers and paraprofessionals, totaling over 440 hours.
  • Provided 37 professional development sessions in Spanish for Spanish-speaking paraprofessionals.
  • Awarded 157 college credits to participating teachers/special educators and 189 credits to paraprofessionals who successfully completed course requirements.
  • Provided nearly 4,000 hours of weekly, in-classroom coaching from highly qualified literacy coaches to teachers and paraprofessionals.

Making Gains: Literacy Knowledge

  • Teachers improved their literacy knowledge by an average of 15% over the course of the project.
  • Paraprofessionals improved their literacy knowledge by an average of 20% over the course of the project.
  • See published preliminary findings on gains in literacy knowledge.


Making Gains: Classroom Literacy Environment

  • At the beginning of the project, NO classrooms were rated as "strong" or better on the Early Literacy and Language Classroom Observation (ELLCO) tool. After 3 years, 60% of classrooms were rated as "strong" overall on the ELLCO.
  • ELLCO total scores improved by an average of 24 points over the course of the project.


Making Gains: Quality of Book Reading

  • By the project's third year, 92% of the classrooms were rated as "strong" or better on the quality of book reading on the ELLCO, and 62% were rated as "exemplary."

Accomplishment #2: Improved the Home Literacy Environment

CPEL enhanced literacy activities in children’s homes by engaging their families in a comprehensive family literacy program. Highlights of these efforts include:


Accomplishment #3: Improved Children’s Language and Early Literacy Skills

CPEL utilized a variety of screening and assessment tools to monitor children's progress and track changes in instructional strategies and classroom environments. Project staff conducted 3,683 early childhood assessments using the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT), the Expressive Vocabulary Test (EVT), and several subtasks of the Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS) PreK. Assessment results show marked improvement in children's early literacy performance during the project. Highlights of children's gains include:

Making Gains: Receptive Vocabulary

  • Each spring the average PPVT score was above the target score of 85. Children's average spring score increased by 4 points over the three years of the grant.
  • The average gain in children's receptive vocabulary from fall to spring was 6.89 standard score points in the third year of the grant. Spanish-speaking children made the greatest gains.


Making Gains: Rhyming

  • By the project's third year, the average gain in rhyme awareness for Spanish-speaking 4-year-olds was 30% from fall to spring.

Accomplishment #4: Involved Eastern Students in Important Experiential Learning Experiences

CPEL employed 38 Eastern undergraduate and graduate students from eight majors. The students worked as early literacy assessors, classroom substitutes, and literacy kit managers, and were a critical element in the project’s success. “The Eastern students who worked for us learned how to work as professionals; they gained real-world experience that they often can apply to their university coursework,” said CPEL project manager William Black. “Several Eastern students have mentioned that their CPEL job has given them insight into themselves, made them more confident, opened their eyes to the education profession and helped them see how early childhood education and psychology theories apply to the development of young children.” Read more about the students’ efforts.

Contact Information

For more information about CPEL, contact Julia DeLapp, CECE Program Coordinator, at 860/465-0687.

Download a printable version of this information.

Back to the main CPEL page


Read about other projects and initiatives