October 8, 2010
Metropolitan State University of Denver
Grant helps lay foundation for future School of Education at Metro State
A $1.8 million grant awarded last week will enable Metropolitan State College of Denver to establish a framework for the formation of a School of Education.
The five-year grant from the “Strengthening Institutions” program of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education, was awarded to Metro State to expand its capacity to serve low-income students.
Metro State applied to use the funding in two primary areas: academic support services and the establishment of a framework for the formation of a School of Education, currently housed in the School of Professional Studies (SPS).
“With the formation of a (stand-alone) School of Education, Metro State can establish a dedicated support structure to enhance its teacher education programs,” says Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Vicki Golich. “As one of the top producers of teachers in Colorado, this change will allow the College to respond to market demands while better addressing student needs.”
SPS Dean Sandra Haynes, who is currently on a one-year American Council on Education Fellowship at Colorado State University, agrees. “The prominent position of Metro State’s Teacher Education Program in the state as the largest urban-based source of teachers calls for significant academic restructuring in support of this role,” she says.
For the School of Education framework portion of the grant, the first year will be spent looking at best practices among similar schools. Subsequent years will be spent determining the most efficient allocation of resources and personnel.
Haynes says that the costs associated with restructuring in the form of a School of Education would result not only in benefits to Metro State students, but also in long-term benefits to the broader community constituency.
Areas for enhanced academic support will focus on improving enrollment, retention and graduation of underserved populations. Elements within the program address systemic technology needed to more effectively track admissions and student retention through the use of new management software, which will be combined with faculty and staff training.
Metro State was the only public institution in Colorado awarded the grant funding under the Strengthening Institutions program. Many initial aspects of the five-year grant are focused on research and planning, but others will come to life when the Student Success Building, the first building in the Metro State Neighborhood, opens in 2012.