Rowan receives state grant to attract new teachers

Rowan receives state grant to attract new teachers

By GENE VERNACCHIO, Courier-Post Staff

GLASSBORO -Rowan University won a $749,236 state grant Monday to help attract new teachers to careers in South Jersey's urban school districts.

"In essence, the state is giving us the money to produce 200-plus additional teachers," said Rowan President Donald Farish. "That's good for us ... but it's also a good thing for South Jersey because teachers are needed, especially ones trained in urban districts."

The grant was one of four awarded by the Commission on Higher Education under the new Teacher Preparation Grant Program initiated in the 2003 fiscal budget.

The $3 million competitive grant program is designed to increase the number of teachers prepared to teach math, science, special education, preschool and literacy in urban schools.

Under Rowan's winning proposal, the university proposes to increase the pool of highly qualified teachers for urban districts by placing about 223 additional student-teachers in math, science, special education, preschool/early childhood and reading by 2005.

Rowan also will enhance professional development programs already established to help existing teachers in three urban districts - Camden, Vineland and Bridgeton.

"What we're trying to do is give the students who have an interest an opportunity to understand what urban education is all about through preparations during their undergraduate years and through their student teaching being done in an urban district," Farish said.

"The notion is unless you actually have that as a background, saying you're interested in teaching in an urban school district can be very unrealistic," he said.

Typically, Farish said, if a student has a successful student-teaching experience in an urban school and that same school has an interest in hiring that student, the likelihood is a deal can be made.

Three North Jersey schools - Kean, Montclair State and New Jersey State universities - also won grants from among the 11 proposals submitted.

"Collectively, these institutions will prepare hundreds of additional effective teachers who are trained specifically to teach in urban classrooms," said Alfred C. Koeppe, the commission's chairman. "Our colleges and universities are working to prepare substantially more teachers in targeted areas and working to ensure that New Jersey's teachers have the skills necessary to improve student achievement across the state."

Reach Gene Vernacchio at (856) 845-6532 or

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Date Published: Tuesday, July 23, 2002 - 10:54
Source URL: Courier-Post