Pittsburg State University - Pittsburg, Kansas
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News and information from Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

State awards teaching grant to PSU College of Education

Pittsburg State University has been awarded the largest share of a new teacher education grant than any other public university in the state, the Kansas Board of Regents announced Wednesday.

The university will receive $175, 383 from the Teacher Education Competitive Grant program in order to expand existing programs and to educate approximately 65 additional secondary teachers within the next three years. The grant was awarded to support the university’s ongoing work toward educating more students in high-need areas such as special education, as well as fill positions in underserved areas throughout Kansas.

“If you look across the state, you can see there aren’t enough people going into the area of special education,” said Dr. Andy Tompkins, dean of the PSU College of Education. “If they are trained in a high-need area, then the question becomes, ‘Will they go out to teach or will they work in industry?’ We have a limited number of people in those areas and then sometimes they decide to do other things with their education. All the Kansas universities are concerned about the issue of supply and demand for teachers across the state.”

Other Regents universities awarded the grant money are Emporia State University and Wichita State University. All seven Regents universities were eligible to apply for the highly competitive grants. Applications were reviewed by a committee consisting of representatives from the Board of Regents, the Kansas Department of Education, and K-12 teachers.

Tompkins said in addition to enhancing the retention of teachers, the funds will also go toward training teaching mentors and expanding the Fellows Program in Kansas City, an alternative licensure program that assists experienced industry workers in earning their teaching credentials and earning a Master of Arts degree in Teaching.

“We’re excited to be awarded one of the grants and to do our part in helping increase the number of teachers in high-need areas,” Tompkins said. “It’s a big enough issue that we all need to be involved. I think there’s a pretty good coordinated effort now to make a dent in those needs and make real progress.”

---Pitt State---