C-SC receives $70,000 DEWEY Award from Missouri’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

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CANTON, Mo. — Culver-Stockton College recently received a $70,000 award from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The Developing an Educator Workforce that Expands Yearly (DEWEY) Award is given to higher learning institutions working to increase the number of teacher candidates and strengthen retention in teacher preparation programs. The DEWEY awards provide $70,000 grants to 15 education preparation programs and $45,000 to five two-year higher learning education programs annually. Schools that receive the one-year grants move through a competitive selection process based on a detailed proposal that meets the required criteria.

Cindy Whiston, associate professor of education, outlined a plan for the use of the DEWEY funding for education majors during the 2023-24 academic year. Part of the focus will be for scholarships that assist with textbooks, course expenses, mileage, meals, tutoring and certification expenses.

“It is extremely important to support our students who may experience financial shortfalls as they try to complete their degrees because these are the individuals with a passion for education who are working hard to achieve their goals,” Whiston wrote in the proposal application.

The funding also will be used to enhance social media recruitment campaigns as well as recreational activities, service events and professional development for students in the education program. C-SC will use part of the funding to host a mini-conference in the spring to connect professional mentors with students, especially those in underrepresented populations, including male students and students of color.

In a press release, Whiston said, “As a result of our efforts to support underrepresented populations in the past four years, we have seen our numbers of male elementary education candidates nearly double. We would like to see that trend continue.”

Through the support of previous grant funding, C-SC has increased recruitment and retention efforts of education majors. The education program retention rate was 85 percent from the 2023 spring semester to the 2023 fall semester.

Undergraduate enrollment also increased in that time, Whiston said. She noted a 20 percent enrollment increase between the 2022 and the 2023 fall semesters, growing from 43 new students to 52 new students. The previous grant funding also helped the college increase enrollment in the master of education program, up 37 percent from 2022 to 2023.

“Our goal is to assist in ending the critical teacher shortage within a 60-mile radius of our college by supporting those educators,” Whiston wrote.

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