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  April 14, 2003

NU Gift Creates Scholarship For
Graduates Aspiring To Be Teachers

A $330,000 gift from the Northeast Utilities Foundation to the Neag School of Education will provide scholarships for students enrolling in the Teacher Certification Program for College Graduates. The full-time master's degree program is being offered for the first time at UConn's Stamford campus.

During a news conference April 9, Richard Schwab, dean of the Neag School, announced that 30 Northeast Utilities Foundation scholarships will be awarded during the next three years to individuals interested in becoming secondary teachers in Fairfield County's critical need areas, which include: math, science, foreign languages, and special education.

"This generous gift from the Northeast Utilities Foundation is another example of how this foundation steps up to fulfill a need within the communities it serves," said Schwab. "These scholarships will provide funds for those who have a passion for teaching, but for economic reasons - whether loss of a job or inability to afford tuition - would not otherwise be able to become a teacher."

The Teacher Certification Program for College Graduates is designed for both recent college graduates and older adults who have earned a bachelor's degree and are considering a career change.

The program is a perfect fit with the Northeast Utilities Foundation's mission to support community efforts to improve education, social, and economic conditions, said Theresa Hopkins-Staten, president of Northeast Utilities Foundation.

"Students today are potential employees of tomorrow," she said. "We see this partnership as a tremendous opportunity to address teacher shortages in critical subject areas and ensure the education system provides students with the necessary skill sets that will allow them to effectively compete in the workforce in years to come."

Valerie Lewis, commissioner of higher education, commended the partnership for its efforts to address the shortage of teachers in the state.

"Through its generous gift, the Northeast Utilities Foundation is wisely capitalizing on the assets of the Neag School of Education and its ability to bring young liberal arts graduates into the teaching force," she said.

The scholarships will help cover the students' tuition. They will be awarded by a committee of representatives from the Neag School, the Northeast Utilities Foundation, and the Stamford Public School District.

By establishing the program at the Stamford campus, said Schwab, the Neag School will be able to tap into a highly qualified but previously unrealized pool of candidates, particularly those from underserved populations, and will quickly build a fast-track supply of new teachers.

The Teacher Certification Program for College Graduates is modeled after the Neag School's nationally acclaimed Integrated Bachelor's/Master's Program. Noted for its high standards, the teacher preparation program requires extensive clinical experiences and intensive coursework in both the subject area to be taught and required core courses. A major component of both programs is a relationship with selected public school districts, referred to as Professional Development Centers. For the Stamford-based program, the Neag School is partnering with Stamford Public Schools.

Beginning May 19, the first group of Northeast Utilities Scholars will spend the summer immersed in two semesters of coursework. During the fall semester they will student teach, while taking additional courses in their content area. Next spring, they return to the classroom for another clinical experience, while completing advanced work in curriculum and conducting an inquiry project.

Applications for the scholarships are being accepted through May 1. For more information, go to:

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