Campus: CSU, Fresno -- November 30, 1999

$8.5 Million Education Renaissance Grant Will Re-Design Teacher Prep Approach

An $8.5 million grant will help California State University, Fresno and nine other universities pioneer a five-year project to re-design teacher preparation programs so that they emphasize student learning as well as delivery of instruction.

Dr. Paul Shaker, dean of the School of Education and Human Development at Fresno State, announced this week that the university is among 10 Renaissance Group institutions that will assess and enhance their teacher education programs over the next five years with the U.S. Department of Education grant.

The Renaissance Group, headquartered at Emporia State University in Kansas, is a consortium of 23 colleges and universities across the nation with a major commitment to educating teachers.

Shaker said expected outcomes of the five-year project -- which at Fresno State will also involve the College of Arts and Humanities and the College of Science and Mathematics -- include the production of highly-skilled teacher education graduates, collaborative field-base programs, expanded use of technology for instruction and networking, and clear linkages between teacher performance and student learning in high-need schools.

"The ten Renaissance Group institutions are collaborating to improve teacher education and will use this grant to become more accountable for the impact of their graduates on student learning, especially those in high-need schools," Shaker said.

"These institutions, along with their schools of arts and sciences and partner schools, propose to redesign their teacher preparation programs to shift from delivering instruction to producing student learning."

He said six major objectives are proposed including an accountability system that evaluates impact of teachers on student learning.

The grant project will be managed by Western Kentucky University and, in addition to Fresno State, involves Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti; Emporia State University, Kansas; Kentucky State University, Frankfort; Longwood College, Farmville, VA; Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro; Millersville University of Pennsylvania, Millersville; Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau; and University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls.

The Renaissance Group was founded in 1989 to address issues facing teacher education and to become a proactive force in renewal and reform of education on the national level.

For more information, call Dr. Berta Gonzalez, associate dean of education at 278-0210 or Dr. Gary Sells at 278-0259.

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