U.S. Department of Education Awards Holy Names University a $5,073,800 Grant

News Release

Media contact:
Lesley Sims, Holy Names University, 510-436-1405 or sims@hnu.edu

U.S. Department of Education Awards
Holy Names University a $5,073,800 Grant

OAKLAND, CA; October 20, 2011 – Holy Names University has been awarded a five-year, $5,073,800 Transition to Teaching Grant from the Department of Education. The U.S. Department of Education announced that it had awarded $12.8 million for 30 teacher training projects in the Transition to Teaching Program. HNU was one of the five awarded in California. Dr. Julie Henderson, Assistant Professor of Education, is the project director and designer of this grant.

The Transition to Teaching Program supports efforts to recruit mid-career professionals and recent graduates with degrees outside of education. It then helps these recruits become teachers through alternative certification routes. The program also emphasizes the placement of teachers in high-need schools. HNU Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Lizbeth Martin, explained, “This is a five-year grant to train teachers in Oakland, Hayward and West Contra Costa. The first-year funding alone is over $600,000, so the impact on local education districts will be significant.”

This grant expands HNU’s teacher certification program by recruiting and training culturally and linguistically diverse undergraduate students to increase under-represented groups in some of California’s highest-needs schools. It also will recruit and seek to retain highly qualified teachers for service in high-needs school districts, including Oakland Unified School District, West Contra Costa County Unified Schools and Hayward Unified School District.

Dr. Henderson said, “I pursued this grant because I learned a long time ago both as a teacher and school principal that it takes 3-5 years of work in schools to become a really good teacher – the kind of teacher that knows and cares as much about their students and the community as s/he does the subject matter… and who considers this ‘job’ to be a spiritual avocation. Our undergraduates already embody that kind of caring and community commitment, so helping them to become teachers by giving scholarships and providing strong mentors is a win-win for everyone. Five years from now, we will have prepared at least 150 HNU graduates to be outstanding teachers for Oakland, Hayward and West Contra Costa.”

The U.S. Department of Education expects to certify approximately 4,800 new teachers by the end of the five-year period. “Talented teachers come from all walks of life, and life experiences can enhance a teacher’s abilities in the classroom and rapport with students,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “These grants will encourage more interested professionals to transition into teaching and will increase our cadre of teachers for schools that need their help the most.”

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HNU is located on sixty acres in the Oakland Hills at Highway 13 and Redwood Road. Founded in 1868, HNU is a co-educational institution offering more than 25 bachelor’s and master’s degrees and various certificates and credentials.

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