The University of Rochester's Warner Graduate School of Education has received a $52,000 grant to launch a partnership with Monroe Community College and SUNY Geneseo designed to increase the diversity and performance of future teachers.
The three-year grant from Philip Morris Companies will be used to develop a consolidated approach to encouraging community college students to make careers of teaching in urban schools.
With some of the funds, the three post-secondary institutions, the Rochester City School District, and local corporations and agencies will establish a forum where the entire community will exchange views on teaching in urban schools.
A second part of the project will involve developing and teaching a course on urban education to undergraduate and graduate students. The course will be offered at one of the institutions, but students from all three could be enrolled.
"What I think is valuable is getting people together across institutions to discuss urban schools and teaching," said David W. Hursh, an associate professor at the Warner School, who will coordinate the project. " These conversations don't happen frequently enough. I think this will get people excited and want to be in urban schools as teachers."
In total, Philip Morris today awarded $800,000 to nine programs across the country. The collaborations among institutions are meant to encourage and prepare students who traditionally haven't entered teaching.
"Community colleges are the bridge to higher education for millions of people of color and non-traditional students, and these institutions can play a critical role in preparing teachers for a new era of educational excellence," said Karen Brosius, director of corporate contributions for Philip Morris. "We are very pleased to support this innovative partnership of the University of Rochester with Monroe Community College and SUNY Geneseo that will help identify and prepare teachers in our culturally diverse society," Brosius said.