UAPB Receives Grant to Improve Teacher Education

The Windgate Foundation award will support efforts to train new educators.

Black teacher working with young students
Photo courtesy: University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

The Windgate Foundation has awarded the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff a two-year, $469,420 grant to support teacher preparation programs for students through the Educator Preparation Program.

“We are deeply appreciative of the Windgate Foundation’s support for helping generate transformative work that impacts our education students,” said Wanda Newell, dean of UAPB’s School of Education.

The university will continue its improvements to the Educator Preparation Program (EPP) over the next two years, starting this fall by providing students with the knowledge and skills needed to be prepared for their first day in the classroom, according to a news release. The program aims to increase the number of highly effective educators by supporting the implementation of evidence-based practices that prepare, develop and strengthen the skills of UAPB students through the EPP’s competency-based curriculum.

“This opportunity will serve to address many of the preparation and training issues we too often wrestle with in preparing the next generation of teachers,” vice chancellor of institutional advancement George Cotton, Sr. said. “This funding can also serve as an institutional springboard in helping to carve out UAPB’s space as a go-to institution in making a difference in teacher preparation.”

The funds allow the university to develop, expand and evaluate practices by providing education students with robust training, mentorship, academic support and scholarships that will produce high-quality teachers. The School of Education will help collect information about the program’s performance and provide important feedback to improve the educational experience for teacher candidates. 

“Windgate is proud to be able to provide support to UAPB as they work to enhance and create greater educational opportunities for future teachers,” said Patricia Forgy, executive director for the Windgate Foundation. “We look forward to hearing of their successes and accomplishments in the coming year.”