Elizabeth City State University receives $300K education grant

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (WAVY) — Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) recently received a $300,000 grant that will allow 10 upcoming teachers to work with local students.

The grant, awarded by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, will prepare student teachers to work in rural, high-need schools.

According to a recent news release, student teachers who already have associate’s degrees in education will complete ECSU’s education program to reinforce skills and gain new knowledge in the education field to boost achievement in rural North Carolina schools.

The grant will help fund IGNITE – Next Generation of New Teachers, which is a collaborative program between ECSU, the College of the Albemarle and Halifax Community College to increase the quality of education in rural areas by supporting local school districts.

IGNITE will also partner with the Northeast Academy of Aerospace and Advanced Technologies (NEAAAT), which is located on the ECSU campus.

According to the program’s website, NEAAAT is a STEM school that aims to inspire and prepare students with the skills, knowledge and attitudes needed to pursue high demand jobs and careers. Students can earn up to two years of college credit along with their high school diploma, as well as valuable credentials and certifications.

Student teachers in the IGNITE program will work with students in grades 7 through 11 and share their enthusiasm for education, all while working towards their degrees.

“This collaborative project will recruit, prepare, and license the teacher-education candidates to positively focus on the learning outcomes of students taught in high-need rural schools in North Carolina,” said Dr. Gwendolyn Williams, endowed chair of the ECSU education, psychology, and health department.

According to the news release, there is an increasing need for more teachers in North Carolina due to high turnover rates, and the IGNITE project hopes to combat this through coursework, professional development and mentoring.

For more information or to apply for a grant, visit wkkf.org.