DALLAS, Texas--Prairie View A&M University has been selected to receive a $100,000 grant from the Tom Joyner Foundation and the National Education Association (NEA) to help increase the number of fully certified teachers in minority and hard-to-staff schools.
Prairie View A&M University is one of several historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) awarded funding from the Tom Joyner Foundation and the NEA.
The PVAMU Teacher Certification Program, housed in the university’s Whitlowe R. Green College of Education, will facilitate the university’s scholarship award process. Prairie View A&M University’s program will focus on certification in the areas of Science, Mathematics and Special Education. The university plans to distribute funds for the program beginning summer 2008.
To apply for funds for assistance with teacher certification, teachers must be employed by a K-12 public school and currently teaching without certification. Scholarship winners must commit to teach for a minimum of three years in identified communities. Eligible teachers can access scholarship applications from the Tom Joyner Foundation website link, http://www.blackamericaweb.com/site.aspx/foundation/nea
NEA will review all submitted applications and will refer award candidates to the certification program at the nearest HBCU. The award grant will provide financial and professional development assistance to aid teachers working under provisional certification. Assistance will be offered in the following areas: tuition, books and support in preparing to take state teacher certification examinations.
In 2005, the Tom Joyner Foundation distributed $700,000 to seed the scholarship program. Over the last three years, the partnership has provided hundreds of minority teachers with funding and technical support for workshops, coursework, materials, individual tutoring and examination fees to prepare them to pass state licensing examinations. Prairie View A&M University’s grant award is the result of the Tom Joyner Foundation’s Phase II, which has a goal is to assist upwards of 1,000 teachers in high-minority, urban and suburban school districts as they pursue full licensure.
Reg Weaver, president of the 3.2 million-member NEA, said joining forces with the Foundation has moved the “teacher testing gap” to the forefront of educational issues and is allowing the Tom Joyner Foundation, NEA and HBCUs such as PVAMU to work together to create programs and policies that will close that gap.
“As public schools in the U.S. become more ethnically diverse, the teacher population becomes less diverse,” said Weaver. “For minorities, one of the greatest barriers to earning a teaching license is the requirement to pass a state teacher licensure test. Although more than 60 percent of the minority teachers in this country are prepared at HBCUs, until now, no national organizations have put a plan into action to deal with this issue. Fortunately, the Foundation had the foresight to address this critical need in teacher preparation.”
About The Tom Joyner Foundation:
The Tom Joyner Foundation was established in 1998 for the purpose of helping students continue their education at historically black colleges and universities across the nation. The foundation has raised more than $35 million to date for this single cause and helped thousands of deserving students. Since its inception, the foundation has assisted every HBCU, which is defined as “any historically black college or university that was established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of black Americans.” For more information regarding the Tom Joyner Foundation please visit www.blackamericaweb.com.
The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization. Its members include elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and college students preparing to teach. A leader in school reform, NEA believes that a quality education begins with a quality teacher in every classroom. For more information regarding the NEA please visit www.nea.org.
About Prairie View A&M University:
Ranked the only Texas school on Black Enterprise magazine’s 2006 list of “Top 50 Colleges and Universities for African-Americans,” Prairie View A&M University was founded in 1876 and is the second-oldest public institution of higher education in Texas. With an established reputation for producing engineers, nurses and educators, PVAMU offers baccalaureate degrees in 50 academic majors, 41 master’s degrees and four doctoral degree programs through nine colleges and schools. A member of The Texas A&M University System, the university is dedicated to fulfilling its land-grant mission of achieving excellence in teaching, research and service. During the university’s 132 year history, nearly 51,000 academic degrees have been awarded. For more information regarding PVAMU, visit www.pvamu.edu.