The College of Education and Human Services at Valdosta State University has been awarded a $198,000 grant by the Georgia Department of Education to make available K-5 teacher certificate endorsements in Math and Science. Working in cooperation with the Georgia Department of Education these endorsements, once approved by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, will be provided on-line to state educators in a competency-based Education (CBE) format.
Dr. Anthony Scheffler, the grant’s Principal Investigator, along with Co-PIs Dr. Brian Gerber and Dr. Lynn Minor will administer the grant through the COEHS Center for Accreditation and Curricular Innovation. According to Dr. Scheffler, “The College of Education and Human Services is gaining national recognition for its efforts to accommodate the diverse circumstances of a broad range of potential students. This grant is one more example of how the college employs innovation, both in the use of technology and in delivery formats to recruit and accommodate students. We have already heard from a large school system which is interested in having its teachers enroll in these STEM related endorsement programs.
Additionally, the school system is willing to subsidize the associated costs.” Scheffler, who has been selected to serve on a Gates Foundation sponsored CBE discussion panel at the upcoming Educause conference explained that, “The use of competency-based programming aligns with the state’s Complete College Georgia initiative and with the national movement to better insure the value of and expedite a quality education, particularly for the post-traditional student.”
Valdosta State University — The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) has named VSU’s Marriage and Family Therapy student, Ebony C. Iheanacho, a recipient of its Minority Fellowship Program award. The AAMFT Minority Fellowship Program’s mission is to increase the availability of highly talented, culturally competent doctoral-level researchers, practitioners, and teachers dedicated to assisting ethnic minority communities, as well as underserved populations. It does this by providing financial support and professional guidance to graduate students pursuing doctoral degrees in marriage and family therapy.
As an AAMFT Doctoral Fellowship (DF) participant, Iheanacho will receive a stipend for a maximum of three years to help cover the cost of doctoral program attendance. Funds are provided by a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the average funding level for the DF is greater than $20,000 per year, per fellow. She will also have access to a number of training opportunities and enrichment experiences.
When Iheanacho learned that she had won the award, she said, “I screamed for like three minutes straight.” Then she grabbed her phone and began calling and texting friends and family to share the good news. “I was facing having to borrow thousands of dollars in student loans,” she said, “and I was already starting to worry about how I was going to pay all that back. I feel like a weight has been lifted off me. I am so excited to be in a position to be able to go to school and just learn.”