IUP Funding for Grant to Train, Retain More Teachers Increased, Scope of Project to Increase

Posted on 10/31/2018 3:45:17 PM

Indiana University of Pennsylvania has been notified that the funding has been increased in a recent grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Education designed to reverse the decline in new teacher graduation rates and to retain new teachers in the field.

In July, IUP was notified that the university was selected to receive $578,038 as part of the $2 million of grant funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Recently, IUP was notified that the grant amount was increased to $740,250.

IUP is one of three universities receiving the Implementation-Expansion Grant Awards. This funding received at IUP will be used to develop and implement year-long residency programs for teachers and support new teachers in the first three years in the field.

This funding comes from the Pennsylvania’s Every Student Succeeds Act Consolidated State Plan.

“This increased funding will allow us to increase the number of students we are supporting during their year-long residency and expand the scope of our project to include redesign of additional courses,” said Lara Luetkehans, dean, IUP College of Education and Communications.

“We are particularly excited to include new dual enrollment courses that can be offered to high school students interested in exploring the teaching profession.”

The overarching goals of the project at IUP are threefold:

  • To inspire diverse individuals and individuals interested in hard-to-staff disciplines to choose teaching as a career and remain in the teaching profession;
  • Transform educator preparation at IUP by establishing focused hands-on, year-long experiences that prepare teacher candidates to embrace the challenges faced in urban and rural settings;
  • Lead candidates and mentors through the establishment and sustainment of year-long residencies that result in the highest quality of new teachers and to retain effective teachers and mentors in order to positively impact students’ academic performance.

Sue Rieg, dean’s associate for Educator Preparation and director of Professional Development School Partnerships, authored the grant, which was submitted in collaboration with two urban school districts (Greater Johnstown and Pittsburgh), six local school districts (Indiana, Blairsville-Saltsburg, Homer Center, Penns Manor, Freeport, and Leechburg), and the Armstrong-Indiana Intermediate Unit 28 (ARIN IU 28).

Several undergraduate educator preparation programs at IUP will be part of the project: Art Education (all levels), English grades 7-12, middle level grades 4 to 8 (all tracks), grades pre-kindergarten through grade 4, mathematics grades 7 to 12, music education (all levels), science grades 7 to 12, special education pre-kindergarten through grade 8, special education grades 7 to 12, and social studies education grades 7 to 12. Reading specialist (all levels), a graduate program, has also committed to participate.

Currently, four undergraduate students and six reading specialist candidates in the Pittsburgh public schools have been selected to participate in this immersion program through this grant.

“We graduate between 150 to 200 teacher candidates each year, so this program could have a huge impact on the future, not only for our graduates, but for schools in our region and in the commonwealth,” Rieg said.

“The opportunity to continue to mentor new teachers during their first three years of work is incredibly important to their development and to the likelihood that they remain in the profession.”