Davenport University and GRPS sign agreement to offer new innovative scholarship program to address teacher shortage

Davenport University and Grand Rapids Public Schools just signed an agreement that will create 75 new scholarships toward urban STEM education degrees for current students, staff and parents within the school district. Grand Rapids Public Schools is the first school system to take advantage of this new program, which Davenport is offering to school districts statewide.

“Grand Rapids Public Schools has always been an incredible partner with Davenport and was one of the first to participate in our College of Urban Education offerings,” said Dr. Richard J. Pappas. “It is an honor to work with this incredible team to now create an advanced education opportunity for current and future teachers.”

The STEM Educator Scholarship will provide up to $12,000 in funding per individual, each academic year, toward earning a Bachelor of Science in urban STEM education. Each scholarship will be renewable for up to four years, at a maximum of 30 credit hours per year. The aid may be applied to a variety of costs, including tuition, fees, books, meal plans and housing.

“Davenport University has been an instrumental partner in helping us enhance the learning of our current staff to address the unique needs of our students for the last decade,” said Dr. Leadriane Roby, superintendent of GRPS. “Their approach to weekly mentorship has been revolutionary and we are thrilled now to extend this scholarship opportunity to our students, staff and community to address the real teacher talent crisis our community is facing.”

“The teacher talent shortage is a major crisis for Michigan and at its heart is the growth and development of our kids as the talent that will drive our future economy,” said Pappas. “Davenport is committed to developing and supporting teachers who will not only be able to address the talent shortage our schools are experiencing but will also be well-prepared to address the unique needs of our future students to ensure their success.”

School systems interested in this program are required to sign a memorandum of understanding and work collaboratively with Davenport to encourage students, employees, and parents of the school to pursue the undergraduate degree in urban STEM education.

Each partner school district will be eligible for 75 scholarships; up to 25 for current students, up to 25 for school employees, and up to 25 for parents of students currently enrolled in the school district. Individuals are eligible for a scholarship if they have not attended Davenport University as a student in the past 12 months.

“The College of Urban Education is designed to prepare future teachers to help children succeed academically by learning strategies that meet students where they are,” said Dr. Susan Gunn, Dean of the College of Urban Education for Davenport University. “We offer bachelor, master and certificate programs in urban education to develop culturally responsive teachers and educational leaders with classroom experience and mentorship introduced on day-one of their program.”

Davenport is planning to offer this new scholarship program to 10 school systems statewide. There are already several schools in talks with the university to sign up. The scholarship program is available on a first-come-first-serve basis.  To learn more visit davenport.edu/school-partner or send an email to urbaneducation@davenport.edu.

The Bachelor of Science in urban STEM education program provides elementary and secondary teachers with deep expertise in K-12 STEM instruction and culturally responsive teaching strategies to empower them and their students intellectually, socially, and emotionally. Learn more about the Bachelor of Science in urban STEM education program by visiting davenport.edu/STEMeducationBS.

About Davenport University:

Founded in 1866, Davenport is a private, non-profit university serving students at campuses across Michigan and online. The university is committed to providing high academic quality, small class sizes, conveniently located campuses, faculty with real-world experience, and more than 60 dynamic undergraduate and graduate programs addressing in-demand careers in business, technology, health, and urban education. Learn more at www.davenport.edu.

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