LOCK HAVEN, Pa. - Lock Haven University is pleased to announce that it is the recipient of a grant of $85,400 from the U.S. Department of Education Fund for the Improvement of Post-secondary Education. The Project Director for the grant will be Dr. Nathaniel S. Hosley, Associate Professor of Alternative Education and Director of Master of Education Programs.Lock Haven University is a member of the Pennsylvania State
System of Higher Education (PASSHE), the largest provider of higher education in
the commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 250 degree and certificate
programs in more than 120 areas of study. Nearly 405,000 system alumni live and
work in Pennsylvania.
The project funded by the grant is entitled At-Risk – Connections for Higher Education Faculty (AR-CHEF). AR-CHEF will bring together faculty from several key universities to pool expertise in preparing teachers to work effectively with at-risk students.
Hosley explained that in grades K-12, there is a significant population of children and youth at risk of not making it to graduation. “Nationwide,” said Hosley, “between 25% and 35% of students will not graduate with their peers and receive a regular diploma.” He added, “The economic impact of this is astounding.” However, less than 1% of curriculum in education programs is specifically targeted for working with at-risk students. “At risk students,” said Hosley “is one of the most pressing concerns in K-12 teacher preparation today.”
In the United States there are fewer than ten institutions of higher education which focus their work of training professional teachers at the graduate level in the area of at-risk children and youth. The AR-CHEF project will provide an opportunity for these institutions to come together for the exchange of ideas. One goal of the project is to create an organized network of higher education professionals working on at-risk education issues. Hosley expects, in addition, for the participants to create a white paper outlining their position regarding the training of teachers and administrators dealing with at-risk students, and to explore producing a related journal.
Hosley noted that “Lock Haven University is a leader in working with at-risk issues. It was the first in the nation to offer a masters program in alternative education on-line.” The on-line program was approved in 2003.
In summing up the importance of the grant, Thomas Ormond, dean of the College of Education and Human Services, said, “The U.S. Department of Education grant allows Lock Haven University to continue its role as a leader in providing teacher and administrator training in working with at-risk children and youth, Universities with alternative education and at-risk masters programs from across the nation will meet at Lock Haven University to discuss the role of higher education in preparing teachers to meet the challenges of students at risk.”