A grant announced Monday (Dec. 1) will enable West Virginia University’s College of Education and Human Services to boost the preparation of educators and improve educational opportunities in southern West Virginia.

The $244,955 grant from the BelleJAR Foundation in San Francisco, California, will help the college establish a pipeline for the preparation of elementary educators and provide a professional development network for rural teachers in six of the state’s southernmost counties: Logan, Mercer, Mingo, McDowell, Raleigh and Wyoming.

“This grant will allow us the time and resources to build a true partnership with colleagues at the community and technical colleges and with educators in all six counties,” said CEHS Dean Lynne Schrum. “Additionally, it will provide the opportunity for a pathway for learners to become teachers and work in their local communities and improve educational standards.”

Currently, the six counties covered by the grant have an average per capita income of $18,775, with 32 percent of children living in poverty, and 55 percent of fourth graders reading below grade level. The drop-out rate averages 14 percent.

Over a period of five years, the college will work with teachers who are from and wish to remain in the six counties. It will create an Educator Ambassador Academy, a network of current and potential educators, that will help identify future teacher candidates, host interns and assist in membership for new educators.

The College of Education and Human Services was created in 1927 and currently houses 90 full time faculty members, 50 staff, and approximately 2,000 students. It is ranked as 111 of teacher education programs and 26th for online programs in US News & World Report and has a focus on STEM education through collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University. Its Professional Development Schools Network of 29 schools has won numerous awards for preparing exceptionally reflective and talented educators.

The grant was made in conjunction with A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University. The $1 billion fundraising effort by the WVU Foundation on behalf of the University runs through December 2017.

For more information, please contact Christie Zachary at (304) 293-0224 or Christie.Zachary@mail.wvu.edu.



CONTACT: Christie Zachary; College of Education and Human Services
304.293.0224; Christie.Zachary@mail.wvu.edu

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