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Faculty and staff members in the UCCS College of Education were recently awarded more than $500,000 in sponsored research grants to improve the recruitment and training of southern Colorado K-12 teachers.
Lindy Crawford, associate dean, College of Education, Randall DePry, associate professor and chair of the Department of Special Education, College of Education, and John Weathers, assistant professor, College of Education, will each be principal investigators on grants designed to develop current teachers’ abilities in math and science as well as to recruit high-ability students to careers in education and assist classroom para-professionals to become classroom teachers. The faculty members will work closely with staff in the Troops to Teachers Program, Meghan Diderrich, associate regional director, and Bob Leonard, Colorado and Nebraska state director, who will serve as co-investigators. Additionally, the faculty will work with in educators in several southern Colorado public school districts and with faculty at other Colorado universities.
LaVonne Neal, dean, College of Education, lauded the successful efforts of faculty and staff in preparing superior proposals selected in highly competitive processes through the Colorado Department of Higher Education.
“With innovative teacher preparation program and assessment designs, faculty and staff in the College of Education are answering the call to universities issued by former CU System President, Dr. Gordon Gee, to be ‘architects of change,’’’ Neal said. “The total of these grants is approximately 50 percent of the state funding dispersed by the Colorado Department of Higher Education for teacher preparation. This demonstrates the high-quality of the UCCS faculty and staff.”
Weathers will be principal investigator on a $216,680 federal grant from the No Child Left Behind Act to enhance the formative assessment capacity of 84 math and science teachers in Pueblo School District 60. He will work cooperatively with faculty members from the Colorado School of Mines, the University of Northern Colorado, and Princeton, N.J.-based Educational Testing Service researchers.
DePry will be principal investigator on a $240,607 grant from the No Child Left Behind Act to assist military personnel currently working as para-professional educators to become licensed math, science or special education teachers. The program, in partnership with the Mountain West Troops to Teachers office located on the UCCS campus, will involve Edison 54JT, Miami Yoder 60 JT, Harrison School District 2 and Fountain School District 8. Co-principal investigators are Diderrich and Leonard of Troops to Teachers. Applications will begin in October with classes beginning in Jan. 2010.
“This project will provide needed financial and educational support for persons who have separated from the military as they pursue their dream of completing their bachelor’s degree and licensure to serve as teachers in our local schools in the areas of math, science or special education,” DePry said. “UCCS’ recent national designation as a military friendly campus, combined with the support that this grant provides makes this a unique opportunity for the men and women who have served in our military to serve once again in our region’s classrooms.”
Crawford will be principal investigator on a $72,600 grant from Teach Colorado, a Department of Higher Education program. In partnership with the Colorado School of Mines and the Troops to Teachers Programs, the grant will be used to recruit 10 recent college graduates and five current undergraduate students with math and science backgrounds to pursue careers in secondary education and special education teacher preparation.
Communique is the online newsletter for UCCS faculty and staff. It is published weekly during the fall and spring semesters, monthly during the summer semester. Communique is sent to faculty and staff e-mail lists and, by request, to other e-mail addresses. Previous issues are available in the Communique Archives at www.uccs.edu/ur/communique/archives.html, and the current issue is always at www.uccs.edu/ur/communique. Suggestions and comments are welcome. Send ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org or call Tom Hutton, 255-3439.View Current Communique