QU receives $600,000 grant from Illinois Board of Higher Education

QUINCY — The Illinois Board of Higher Education recently announced it will continue to fund Quincy University’s Competency Completion Cohort Project by providing an additional $600,000, bringing the total funding received for this project to a little more than $800,000.

“The Early Childhood workforce in our region is growing professionally, which in turn means our youngest children and their families are benefiting from the addition of new learning,” said Julia Auch, early childhood education coordinator and assistant professor of education, in a press release.

QU’s Competency Completion Cohort Project includes innovative features that meet the needs of adult learners already working in the field of early childhood education via model components that promote access, opportunity and targeted support to attain one or more state-recognized credentials or a degree. The cohort includes infant through preschool teachers, all currently employed within licensed childcare programs in Adams County, as well as the Early Childhood and Family Center for Quincy Public Schools.

These additional funds allowed 20 of the previous learners, who work as a cohort, to continue beyond the conclusion of the 2021 fall semester and added 20 new learners to the program for the 2022 spring semester.

Quincy University was one of five Illinois colleges and universities awarded a grant from the Illinois Board of Higher Education in July 2020. The grants, funded by the federal Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five initiative, were awarded in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development. The funds supported projects to strengthen and diversify the early childhood workforce pipeline. The original grant ran through the 2020-21 academic year.

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