MU College of Education receives record grant
COLUMBIA - The MU College of Education announced Wednesday that it received four federal and private-sector grants totaling $22.4 million for its "eMINTS" program. One of the grants is the largest in the college's history.
The program works to provide STEM training for teachers and students in rural areas through professional development programs and workshops.
"We've really been dedicated to rural schools for the last ten years. It's been a big focus of ours. To have this grant that allows us to do so much work with the Missouri rural schools in particular is really exciting," director of eMINTS Christie Terry said.
MU Chancellor Alexander Cartwright said these grants will help the entire state.
"It's a tremendous amount of investment in the state to really help us move forward with what we are trying to do with the school districts and to help all of Missouri to advance STEM education."
Cartwright also said that much of the state's education relies on the university.
"Teachers and students throughout Missouri's 114 counties depend on the MU College of Education's outreach programs to support teachers and enhance the educational process," he said. "These grants will help the college continue to provide an affordable, excellent education to students throughout Missouri, especially in rural communities where resources like these can change lives."
Terry said these programs are especially important to rural communities that struggle economically.
"Since the recession, rural communities have not rebounded economically the way that urban and suburban communities have and we see this grant as a real opportunity to invest in the students in those communities who are going to bring economic opportunities to their hometowns," she said.
Cartwright thinks the grants are an indication of success at the university.
"For the institution, it's just more of a validation of the incredible work that we are performing here at the university," Cartwright said. "It wasn't surprising to me that the Department of Education would be willing to invest in our faculty and researchers when they want to move forward in a critical area."
$18.6 million of the $22.4 million came from the U.S. Department of Education while the rest was matched by Kansas City Audio-Visual, an audio visual equipment supply company.
Jerry Bernard, owner of Kansas City Audio-Visual said they donated to eMINTS because their goals are "closely aligned."
"We feel very strongly about supporting the people like eMINTs who are in the trenches and who are doing tangible things to make learning and teaching more productive and more effective," Bernard said.
With the latest grants, eMINTS has now raised more than $50 million in funding since 2010.