SREB and Alabama


SREB and Alabama

An overview of SREB programs and services and how Alabama participates in them.

Appropriations from member states support core SREB services. SREB leverages the longstanding commitment of member states to attract external funding for additional programs and services that benefit member states. States may also choose to join targeted networks for additional fees.



Goals for Education | Monitoring State Policies

Monitoring and reporting to assist education leaders and policymakers as they shape public policy. SREB tracks trends and analyzes the progress of all 16 SREB states in each area in the Challenge to Lead 2020 Goals for Education and provides Legislative Reports that detail legislative and budget actions in each state.

SREB’s Insights data tool allows leaders to explore actions across states, delve into a topic for a deeper understanding or select a detailed state report.

College and Career Readiness

Intensive work to help states implement essential components of SREB’s recommendations for statewide college and career readiness. These include assessing high school juniors to determine their progress toward the state’s readiness standards — and requiring those who are underprepared to take transitional courses in 12th grade. >

Readiness in State Accountability Systems

SREB staff distilled key elements of SREB state accountability systems under the Every Student Succeeds Act into interactive profiles at

In October 2018 SREB updated the state profiles and published a regional report on five ways SREB states prioritized readiness in their ESSA plans.  

Alabama’s profile notes the state’s efforts to raise expectations for college and career readiness through its long-term goals and school performance indicators.

In October 2018, SREB staff presented information from the reports at SREB’s annual meeting of legislative and governors’ staff. A stakeholder from Alabama attended.

Career and Technical Education


Annual meeting for teams of legislators, policymakers, state board members, secondary and postsecondary education leaders, and workforce development agency representatives. Attendees explore policies and practices that help more young adults graduate prepared for postsecondary credentials and degrees and good jobs.

Alabama attendees at SREB’s State Leaders Forum in November 2017: 6>

    Educator Effectiveness

    Advises state and district leaders as they develop strategies to support the professional growth of teachers and principals. SREB serves as a technical advisor to state education agencies, spotlights inspiring stories of local practice and convenes stakeholders at regional meetings.

    Technical Assistance

    SREB supported the development and implementation of Alabama’s educator effectiveness strategy by funding two educators-in-residence. These educators conducted in-depth professional learning and training with district teams as they developed their educator evaluation plans. 


    The state department sent representatives to SREB’s Sixth Annual Educator Effectiveness Convening in May 2018. They participated in collaborative working sessions with peers from 12 SREB states. At the meeting, state department staff met to discuss four shared problems of practice: equitable access to effective teaching, leadership development, professional learning, and teacher voice.

    reports and data

    SREB produced the following resources for Alabama leaders during the last 12 months:

    School Is My Happy Place, May 2018, which showcases the innovative strategies used to develop a positive school culture at an elementary school in central Florida.

    Mentoring New Teachers: A Fresh Look, January 2018, which proposes three action areas for states, districts and schools to support the development of novice educators and their mentors. >

    Teacher Preparation 

    SREB’s Teacher Preparation Commission met in 2016, 2017 and 2018 and will publish its final recommendations to improve teacher preparation programs in late 2018.

    The Commission published its first report, More than the Numbers: Teacher Preparation Data Systems State Policy and Recommendations, in September 2017. 

    Postsecondary Education


    SREB’s Commission on College Affordability in the South recommended policies and practices to keep college costs within reach of all students. In addition to the Commission’s report, policymakers can draw on updated regional and individual state affordability profiles to understand how costs impact families at different income levels. 

    The executive director of Alabama’s Commission on Higher Education participated in a December 2017 meeting on accreditation issues coordinated by SREB with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and the State Higher Education Executive Officers.

    In April 2018, SREB collaborated with the Association of Community College Trustees for its Governance Institute for Student Success, which convened trustees, community college presidents and senior staff, and state postsecondary agency staff from Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi. As president of the Alabama Community College System Board of Trustees, Governor Kay Ivey opened the meeting in Birmingham, welcoming nearly 70 participants, including a large contingent from Alabama. Among the topics discussed were the board’s role in state policy development, the changing world of work and learning, high-impact policies and practices, and engaging partnerships and collaborations.

    SREB convened state higher education agency academic officers in October 2017 to discuss factors that impact college affordability. Attendees learned from each other about new policies for tuition, fees, financial aid, transfer, textbook costs, online courses, collaboration with K-12, readiness and serving returning adults. A representative from the Alabama Commission on Higher Education participated.

    SREB assisted Alabama leaders who requested information on postsecondary issues such as financial aid, student debt and the cost of college. 

    State Services

    Connecting policymakers with custom information, presentations and assistance on education issues as they arise. Leaders in member states are encouraged to contact SREB for data, analysis and advice.

    SREB staff visited Alabama to meet with legislators and staff and attend committee meetings in 2018.

    Throughout 2017-18, legislators, legislative staff and governor’s staff from Alabama requested assistance on topics including student transportation, teacher salaries, student financial aid and education governance.


    Alabama staff were among those from 8 SREB states at the 2018 meeting of legislative and governors’ staff from across the SREB region to discuss topics that will likely be on agendas during upcoming legislative sessions.

    Alabama legislators were among those in attendance at the 2017-18 meetings of SREB’s Legislative Advisory Council and Legislative Work Conference. >


    Curriculum and School Improvement

    Advanced Career

    Nine pathways that combine college-ready academics with hands-on, project-based assignments that spark students’ learning and interest in STEM careers. Each four-course AC pathway prepares students for advanced industry credentials and two- and four-year postsecondary credentials and degrees.

    Alabama schools delivering AC curricula during 2018-19:

    • Energy and Power: 1 school
    • Global Logistics and Supply Chain Management: 1 school
    • Health Informatics: 1 school
    • Innovations in Science and Technology: 1 school
    • Teachers trained to date: 9 >

    Readiness Courses

    Ready for High School Courses

    Courses that help eighth- and ninth-graders master the literacy and math skills they need to complete a college-ready academic core and pursue challenging career pathway programs in high school. Ready for High School Literacy and Ready for High School Math can be offered in the eighth or ninth grades.

    Number of Alabama teachers who attended Ready for High School training in 2018-19:
    Ready for High School Literacy: 29
    Ready for High School Math: 32

    Ready for College Courses

    Courses that help juniors and seniors master literacy and math skills before they transition from high school to postsecondary education and the workplace. In Literacy Ready, seniors develop and defend ideas from texts in diverse subject areas and write about those texts at a college level. Math Ready develops critical thinking and math reasoning skills and engages seniors in applying math to solve real-world problems.

    Number of Alabama teachers who attended Ready for College training in 2018-19:
    Literacy Ready: 12
    Math Ready: 14 >

    Making Schools Work

    A school improvement process developed by SREB that engages K-12 educators and school leaders in identifying and studying problems of practice, implementing research-based solutions to those problems, and learning within a collaborative network of schools. Schools adopt Making Schools Work through designs for middle grades schools, high schools and technology centers.

    Alabama is a member of the Making Schools Work network.

    Advisory Council Member: Tommy Glasscock, deputy state superintendent of career and technical education, Alabama State Department of Education 

    State Coordinator: Josh Laney, senior director, Workforce Development, Alabama State Department of Education

    Schools, districts and states contract with SREB to implement Making Schools Work and receive targeted school improvement services such as professional development, instructional coaching and technical assistance.

    Twelve Alabama districts contracted with SREB for direct services in 2018-19.

    SREB will deliver 832 days of on-site coaching and 134 days of on-site professional development in these districts. 

    Forty-seven Alabama technology centers contracted with SREB for direct services in 2018-19.

    Jefferson County 

    The Jefferson County School District in Birmingham is working with SREB to implement full-scale reform strategies across the district’s middle grades schools and high schools to prepare students for college and careers. Strategies include:

    • Training and coaching in literacy and mathematics practices
    • Career academies that guide students through a rigorous academic core with advanced CTE courses like Advanced Career
    • Training and coaching for principals and other school leaders
    • Training and coaching for counselors to support college and career readiness for each student
    • Time redesign
    • Readiness courses that ensure students in the middle grades are ready for high school and that high school seniors are ready for college

    Through a three-year Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant to SREB, 12 schools in Jefferson County are working on problems of practice around math achievement through plan-do-study-act cycles. This work will guide improvement strategies in instructional practice, curricular resources, mathematical mindsets and district policy. Learn more about SREB’s work with Jefferson County.

    Birmingham City, Marshall County and DeKalb County

    Three Alabama districts — Birmingham City, Marshall County and DeKalb County — are partnering with SREB to implement full-scale reform strategies across middle grades schools and high schools to get students ready for college and careers. Strategies include:

    • Training and coaching in literacy and mathematics practices
    • Career academies that guide students through a rigorous academic core with advanced CTE courses like Advanced Career
    • Training and coaching for principals and other school leaders
    • Training and coaching for counselors to support college and career readiness for each student
    • Readiness courses that ensure students in the middle grades are ready for high school and that high school seniors are ready for college
    • Districtwide implementation of professional learning communities
    Gene Bottoms Pacesetter School Awards

    DeKalb County Technology Center
    Rainsville, Alabama

    The DeKalb County Technology Center in Rainsville, Alabama, won a Gene Bottoms Pacesetter School Award in July 2018.

    Eufaula High School
    Eufaula, Alabama

    Eufaula High School in Eufaula, Alabama, won a Gene Bottoms Pacesetter School Award in July 2018.>


    Professional Development
    For Teachers, Principals and Counselors

    Making Schools Work Conference

    Annual conference, formerly known as the High Schools That Work Staff Development Conference, for K-12 teachers, counselors, principals, technology center directors and state and district education agency personnel.

    Alabama attendees at the July 2018 conference: 193>

    College- and Career-Readiness Standards Networking Conference

    Conference that focuses on literacy and mathematics tools and strategies. Teams of educators and school leaders explore disciplinary literacy strategies and formative assessment lessons that engage students in math.

    Alabama attendees at the July 2018 conference: 151

    Literacy and Math Awards

    Outstanding Mathematics Teacher Award
    Melinda Defee, Pike County High School
    Pike County School District, Alabama

    Melinda Defee of the Pike County, Alabama School District won the Outstanding Mathematics Teacher Award in July 2018.>

    National Technology Centers That Work Leaders’ Forum

    Forum for state and local career and technical education leaders to discuss the role of full- and shared-time technology centers. Teams of center and school leaders, teachers and education and industry partners build action plans.

    Alabama attendees at the 2018 National TCTW Leaders’ Forum: 18>

    Project-Based Learning in Career Pathway Courses

    System of professional development, job-embedded coaching and virtual support that helps academic and CTE teacher teams design project-based assignments in middle grades schools, high schools and technology centers.

    Eighty-two Alabama teachers and administrators from 39 schools, agencies or districts received project-based learning professional development, coaching and support services in 2017-18.


    Postsecondary Education

    Academic Common Market

    A tuition-savings program for college students in SREB member states who want to pursue degrees not offered by in-state institutions. Students can enroll in out-of-state institutions that offer their degree program and pay the in-state tuition rates.

    During calendar year 2017, 2,130 degree programs were available, 152 institutions participated and 3,355 new students were certified for study.

    In 2017,121 Alabama students participated in the Academic Common Market, saving, on average, $12,763 each and a collective total of $1,582,597 in tuition. 

    ACM State Representative: Paul B. Mohr, Director of Special Programs, Alabama Commission on Higher Education >

    Regional Contract Program

    Gives students the opportunity to earn a professional health degree from participating institutions in other states through in-state tuition rates at public institutions or reduced tuition at private institutions. More than 600 students participate each year.

    Number of out-of-state students who enrolled in Alabama programs in 2017-18: 213

    Residents of other states may contract for entry into Auburn University and Tuskegee University in Veterinary Medicine, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham in dentistry and optometry. For 2017-18, these Alabama institutions received approximately $6 million from other SREB states. >

    State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement 

    A nationwide system to offer more high-quality distance education programs for students and ease regulatory burden on institutions. SREB member states may opt in to offer distance education activities in other SARA states. By participating, colleges and universities in the SREB region save almost $30 million annually.

    Alabama is an approved member of SARA.

    Colleges and universities in Alabama saved $6.4 million for initial authorization and save $1.8 million annually on renewals, according to estimates in a return-on-investment study by the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems.

    Alabama SARA representative: Tim Vick, Director of Operations and Fiscal Services, Alabama Commission on Higher Education >

    Fact Book and Data Exchange

    Fact Book

    The SREB Fact Book on Higher Education is a compilation of comparative data on topics including demographics; college enrollment, retention, progression and graduation; tuition and fees; student financial aid; state support for postsecondary education; and faculty salaries. The Fact Book is published bi-annually, but the data are updated annually and made available on the SREB website.​

    Alabama leaders receive the SREB Fact Book on Higher Education, and Alabama: Featured Facts From the SREB Fact Book on Higher Education.

    SREB-State Date Exchange

    An annual collection of postsecondary education data that are submitted by representatives (i.e., Data Exchange coordinators) of postsecondary education system offices. The data collected include degrees conferred, student retention and progression, time to degree, student credit hours taken by high school students and by college students in courses using distance education technology, state funding for postsecondary education, and tuition and fees.

    SREB-State Data Exchange tables are posted on the SREB website.

    Alabama’s Participating Agency and SREB-State Data Exchange Coordinator: Subrena Simpkins, Alabama Commission on Higher Education >

    Council on Collegiate Education for Nursing

    Helps expand and strengthen schools of nursing to reduce the critical shortage of nurse educators needed to educate the nation’s registered nurses. The Council surveys institutions for nursing education trends and shares online graduate nursing courses.

    As of October 2018, 11 Alabama institutions are members (listed here with their representatives to the Council):

    Auburn University: Gregg Newschwander, Dean
    Auburn University at Montgomery: Jean Leuner, Dean
    Coastal Alabama Community College: Jean Graham, Director
    Jacksonville State University: Christie Shelton, Dean
    Samford University: Nena F. Sanders, Dean
    Troy University: Jeffrey Forehand, Director
    Tuskegee University: Constance Smith Hendricks, Dean
    University of Alabama: Suzanne C. Prevost, Dean
    University of Alabama at Birmingham: Doreen C. Harper, Dean
    University of Alabama at Huntsville: Marsha Adams, Dean
    University of South Alabama: Heather Hall, Dean >

    Doctoral Scholars Program

    Supports minority students to help them earn Ph.D.s, begin careers at colleges and universities, and diversify campus faculties. The SREB-State Doctoral Scholars Program hosts the annual Institute on Teaching and Mentoring, the nation’s largest gathering of minority doctoral scholars, with more than 1,200 attendees.

    Scholars funded by Alabama in 2017-18: 28
    2017 Institute attendees from Alabama: 38

    Scholars Alabama has supported since joining in 1993:181

    Graduates since 1993: 132
    Graduates currently employed: 117
    Percent employed in education: 81

    Alabama-supported Ph.D. students have attended these institutions since 1993:

    Auburn University 
    Clemson University
    Howard University 
    Meharry Medical College
    Texas A&M University
    University of Alabama
    University of Alabama at Birmingham
    University of Kentucky
    Vanderbilt University >


    Interstate Cooperatives

    Go Alliance

    An interstate cooperative to increase high school graduation rates, access to education beyond high school and postsecondary degree completion — particularly for those who would be the first in their families to enroll. Go Alliance research, services and professional development focus on college access policy and communications strategies to motivate students to plan for and apply to college.

    Alabama is a Go Alliance member state.

    Go Alliance Representative: Sean Stevens, Education Administrator, Alabama State Department of Education >

    Educational Technology Cooperative

    Membership group of state K-12 and higher education coordinating and governing boards that represent more than 800 colleges and universities and 3,100 school districts in SREB states. The ETC focuses member agencies and state policymakers on using technology wisely, helps states understand technology issues and forms an action agenda for effectively using technology in education. 

    Alabama representatives attended the spring and summer webinars, and Alabama sent one attendee to the 2018 ETC annual meeting on teaching and technology. Alabama ETC representatives helped determine SREB’s 10 Critical Issues in Educational Technology and served on the working groups for revisions. 

    Alabama ETC Representatives and Member Agencies 

    Paul B. Mohr, Director of Special Programs, Alabama Commission on Higher Education

    Larry Raines, Access Program Administrator, Alabama Commission on Higher Education >

    Technology and Insurance Purchasing Savings

    Schools, universities and agencies in SREB states saved $3.3 million on more than $33 million in technology purchases during the fiscal year 2017 — double the FY2016 savings — through SREB’s participation in MHECtech discount agreements. Organizations in each of the 16 SREB states participated.

    Alabama saved $376,616 on $3,808,009 in technology purchases in fiscal year 2018.

    The University of Alabama Birmingham participates in MHECare student insurance solutions. >