IUP has long been noted for its efforts to produce teachers, and now the State Education Department is increasing a recent grant to the university in order to reverse a decline in new teacher graduation rates and to retain new teachers in the field.
A $578,038 Implementation-Expansion Grant Award announced in July has been boosted to $740,250. The grant comes from the state’s Every Student Succeeds Act Consolidated State Plan.
IUP’s Dr. Sue Rieg authored the grant in collaboration with the Indiana Area, Blairsville-Saltsburg, Homer Center, Penns Manor, Freeport, Leechburg, Greater Johnstown, and Pittsburgh school districts, along with ARIN IU 28. It will enable the university to mentor new teachers through the first three years of their professional careers.
Among the programs that will be specific targets of the grant are, English. math, science, social studies, and special education for grades 7 through 12; all levels of art and music education; all educational tracks for middle school students in grades 4 to 8; special education for pre-kindergarten through grade 8; and a grad school reading specialist program for all levels.
IUP currently graduates 150 to 200 teacher candidates every year. Dr. Rieg says the new program will be a benefit for the new graduates, and for the schools in the region and across the state.