Funding provides continued training for teachers in high-need schools
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Education (SOE) and its Institute for Urban Education (IUE) program received a five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE), totaling $8,359,601. It will allow for expansion of the IUE infra-structure for preparing teachers to teach in urban schools. The award is part of the Teacher Quality Partnership Grant Program.
Jennifer Waddell, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Program Director for the IUE, is the principal investigator and project director for the grant.
“Since this was a very competitive and rigorous national grant competition, securing this grant through a peer-reviewed process suggests that the School of Education and IUE’s focus on urban education is cutting-edge, compelling and nationally relevant,” said Wanda Blanchett, Ph.D., Dean and Ewing Marion Kauffman/Missouri Endowed Chair in Teacher Education. “More importantly, this grant and the national vote of confidence recognize the potential of IUE to be a model of best practice in the preparation of educators for today’s urban schools.”
The grant will launch the IUE Change Agents for Urban School Excellence (CAUSE) program, which will broaden the scope, depth and impact of the current practices used by IUE and the SOE. Currently, IUE is a nationally-recognized model for urban teacher education, and its students will undergo a rigorous program of study with an emphasis on math, science and literacy, which includes full immersion in working in urban schools.
The funds will allow for strengthening the curriculum, providing greater numbers of teachers prepared to meet the needs of high-need schools and broadening the work of CAUSE to include professional development for new and in-service teachers.
IUE graduated its first students in May 2009, and each student is currently teaching in one of the partner school districts – Kansas City, Mo., Kansas City, Kan. and Hickman Mills. The grant will allow IUE and the SOE, in conjunction with the partner districts, to continue their focus in urban education. The UMKC College of Arts and Sciences is a project partner on the grant.
“This grant award is further validation of our hard work and commitment to excellence to provide exemplary educators for urban schools in the metropolitan Kansas City area,” said Ed Underwood, Ph.D., Executive Director of IUE. “We – the IUE, School of Education and UMKC – are now positioned not only to continue our work but to expand and become a national model for urban teacher preparation. This award not only represents an investment in IUE, it represents an investment in improving the quality of education and the quality of life for students in urban Kansas City.”
The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience.
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