Dr. Chas Durant, Senior Associate
Professional Development & Technology Enhancement

Chas has a wealth of experience in the areas of program design, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, outcome-based assessment, and professional development. He continues to be at the forefront in the optimization of blended learning as well as the integration of technology in the delivery of services. Within the Center, he has made many contributions which include serving as chairperson of the Strategic Planning Team, ascertaining SCORM compliant learning management systems (LMS), identifying possible funding sources, and performing registrar duties for the 2001 COABE conference. At the Center for Literacy Studies, he has had technical assistance responsibilities on several projects at the national level via the US DOE Office of Adult and Vocational Education's (OVAE) LINCS projects (Region II Professional Development Center and Learning-to-Achieve: A Research-based Training on Serving Adults with Learning Disabilities) and state level via the Tennessee DHS Professional Development, State Leadership, Even Start, and State Improvement Grants.

As a member of OVAE's LINCS Region 2 Professional Development Center, he collaborates with state partners to provide research-based professional development activities to adult education and family literacy practitioners. In addition, he has provided daily liaison support for each of the fourteen state partner agencies which comprised Southern LINCS; researched innovative technology that results in practical adult education classroom applications; gathered and disseminated web traffic analysis data for all the Center maintained web sites; and served as an instructor for online learning environments.

As a member of the School and Family Team, Chas was assigned to assist the University of Memphis with a multi-year research project to document reading instructional practices in specific areas of Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Vocabulary, Fluency, and Comprehension. The instructional practices seek to improve student achievement and inform reading practices that should enable students to reach grade level or reading proficiency. He utilized the Literacy Observation Tool (LOT) to observe and collect data on the use of specific teaching strategies and scientifically-based reading materials with all K-3 children including English language learners and students with special needs.

As a member of the DHS Professional Development team, he assisted with designing, conducting, and evaluating Families First adult education regional technology workshops, as well as provided technology professional development training and support to Families First adult education programs. Chas’ emphasis with the State Leadership Team focused on technical training and support for Tennessee’s proprietary NRS database, eCMATS and development of user manuals. With Even Start, Chas had similar responsibilities for a federal mandated Even Start database as well as setting up the annual state fall conference and conducting additional assignments for the state director. One such task resulted in part of his work being incorporated within governor Bredesen’s legislation to establish lottery-funded PreK classroom throughout the state.

Chas came to the Center and the University of Tennessee after having substantive experience at several prominent universities in both administrative (student affairs and academic) and instructional (graduate and undergraduate) capacities for twenty-two years. In addition, he has teaching experience, at all levels, in the public schools. He received two graduate degrees (M.Ed, Ed.D) from the University of South Carolina. His dissertation research examined faculty perceptions of leadership styles of colleges of education deans throughout the United States. For his leadership and commitment to the field of student affairs, the University of South Carolina awarded him a distinguished alumnus award in 1989.

Chas has served in numerous leadership positions, at the national and state levels, for several prominent student affairs organizations including American College Personnel Association (ACPA), Association of College and University Housing Officers-International (ACUHO-I), and National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA). He has conducted nineteen presentations for these organizations; authored twenty articles and monographs in regional, national, and international professional journals and publications; and has written numerous funded grant proposals. In addition to the commitment to student affairs, his latest research spans several collegiate disciplines, to include counselor education, social work, and vocational rehabilitation. These scholarly activities have been published as book chapters as well as articles. For several years, he wrote biographical material for BellSouth’s African-American History Calendar.

In his spare time, Chas rounds out professional interest and community service activities with a variety of activities, such as spending time on his bicycle, learning new software, bowling, alpine skiing, reading, and travel.