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UW Trustees Seek Grant for Education Initiative

September 24, 2015

The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees has approved a request for a five-year strategic planning and implementation grant aimed at lifting UW’s College of Education to national prominence in preparing professional K-12 teachers, counselors and administrators.

The board voted today (Thursday) to submit the request to the Daniels Fund, a major nonprofit organization founded by cable TV pioneer Bill Daniels. Among the Daniels Fund’s objectives is improving the quality of the K-12 education system to ensure increased student achievement.

The grant proposal is central to the UW Trustees College of Education Initiative, established by the board last year to “elevate the UW College of Education to national pre-eminent status in professional educator preparation, ultimately to improve and enhance K-12 education in Wyoming.” The grant proposal has been developed under a $500,000 planning grant received from the Daniels Fund earlier this year.

“We believe we have established a strong framework to develop and implement a strategic plan to raise the college’s professional educator preparation to a pre-eminent level so that graduates are highly prepared and knowledgeable when they enter Wyoming’s statewide K-12 system,” says Board of Trustees President Dave Palmerlee. “We appreciate the opportunity to present this to the Daniels Fund for its consideration.”

The proposal calls for appointment of a governing board to oversee the initiative; a National Advisory Board composed of education experts from across the country; and a highly qualified executive director to work closely with the College of Education dean, faculty and staff to move the work forward. Also involved would be the governor, the state superintendent of public instruction, legislators, community college leaders and representatives of Wyoming’s K-12 system.

“Through extensive evaluation and adaptation of national best practices, the initiative will recommend, and the college will prepare and graduate, pre-eminent K-12 professional educators,” Palmerlee says. “These highly skilled K-12 teachers, counselors and administrators will spread throughout Wyoming's K-12 system, ultimately resulting in high school graduates who are among the most skilled and best educated in the nation. These highly skilled professional educators will enrich the education of each and every K-12 Wyoming child. Across the state of Wyoming, these high school graduates will drive Wyoming's cultural and economic engine into the future.”

“The College of Education is excited about the opportunity to pursue new levels of excellence through this potential award,” Dean Ray Reutzel says. “Seeking pre-eminent status will be a major undertaking, requiring the best efforts of all stakeholders, but we are anxious to begin the journey.”

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