Three years ago the Student Teacher Education Scholarship was established when the Lattner Family Foundation gave an initial gift of $50,000 to Emporia State.
But the ESU Foundation also commenced a fundraising campaign to ask donors and friends of ESU and the Teachers College to help raise an additional $50,000 to match the original gift, according to DenaSue Potestio, foundation president and vice president for University Advancement. This past June, the Lattner Challenge was met.
“It’s just not successfully meeting the match (of money), it’s that there’s a lot of support for student teaching, and that’s something I think that we want to convey to students,” said Ken Weaver, dean of the Teachers College. “There’s a recognition of having outstanding teachers that are the future of Kansas and education.”
Weaver said that the university recognizes the high expectations that student teachers are held to. These expectations include lesson plans, giving homework and quizzes, grading those assignments and part-time – sometimes even full-time – jobs.
“The net effect is lots of intensity,” Weaver said. “In the midst of this intensity, we don’t want to lose sight of (the fact that they are) students.”
The purpose of the grant money is to give scholarships to student teachers so they do not have to work and can immerse themselves in their final professional opportunity, Weaver said. In an ESU Foundation video, Phil Bennett, former dean of the Teachers College, said they strongly discourage working while student teaching because it is one of the busiest times for students.
“The Student Teacher Education Scholarship Program helps offset lost income for students while they are in that crucial final year of student teaching – that year when they’re completely immersed in the school and classroom environment,” Potestio said.
The scholarships will be primarily distributed on a need basis, and the first scholarship will be available for the 2013-14 school year.
“Emporia State University has a history of producing outstanding teachers,” Weaver said. “Here’s just another piece of tangible evidence that our students are making a difference and that we acknowledging and appreciating that.”
To receive the scholarship, students must be enrolled as a full-time student with a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester; be a senior enrolled in the student teaching portion of the teacher education program at Emporia State; demonstrate financial need as determined by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships; and have a minimum 2.75 GPA.