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Project Encourages Pittsburgh Students to Become Teachers

IUP had a key role in the recent formation of Future Educators Association student chapters at three Pittsburgh schools.

Thirty students have joined the new chapters at Langley Teachers Academy High School, Westinghouse High School, and Barack Obama Academy of International Studies High School, and two of those students attended the Future Educators Association national conference in Atlanta in February.

An induction ceremony for the new chapters will be held April 6, 2011, at 6:00 p.m. at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture in Pittsburgh.

Students in the association will work with student mentors, attend conferences and programs about education, and be accountable for meeting high academic standards.

IUP worked in partnership with the Pittsburgh Public Schools, local school communities and agencies, the Future Educators Association, and Phi Delta Kappa education honor society to form the chapters.

The project was funded through a $136,081 grant from the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education designed to encourage urban students, especially students of color, to pursue careers in teaching.

The PASSHE grant is intended to address that teachers of color are vastly under-represented in the state and national teaching force. Through their membership in the Future Educators of America chapters, the Pittsburgh students will be exposed to the opportunities and rewards of a career in teaching.

The induction ceremony will feature Bob Allen, KDKA-TV news reporter, and Epryl King, a 2001 IUP graduate and current IUP doctoral student. King, a teacher in the Gateway School District, is the founder of the Raising Achievement in Monroeville and Pitcairn (RAMP) initiative.

Students who attended the Future Educators Association national conference will also give a presentation during the ceremony.

For more information about the program, contact project coordinators Dr. Shirley Johnson, 724-541-4300, or Dr. Monte Tidwell, 724-910-0066, of the Professional Studies in Education Department.

For information about the event, contact Debra Valentine-Gray, director of Regional Advancement, Pittsburgh, at debravg@iup.edu or 412-926-8733.

Find more information about IUP’s work with the Pittsburgh Public Schools through the Pittsburgh Promise program in the story “A Sense of Hope” from the Fall-Winter 2010 edition of IUP Magazine.