Southeast Awarded $741,642 Grant to Train Educators to Work with Parents, Students Limited in English Proficiency

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

Aug. 26, 2004 – Southeast Missouri State University has been awarded a $741,642 federal grant to train teachers and school administrators in mid-Missouri to better prepare them to work with students and parents who are limited in proficiency with the English language.

The U.S. Department of Education made the five-year award, which, combined with matches from the University and the Missouri Department of Education, totals $1.4 million. Dr. Maria Ferrier, deputy undersecretary, Office of English Language Acquisition, U.S. Department of Education, visited Southeast today to recognize Southeast for its efforts. Dr. Adelaide Heyde Parsons, director of the Center for International Programs at Southeast, who is serving as director of the grant known as Teachers and Administrators Partner for Education in Mid Missouri (TAPEMM), said U.S. Rep. JoAnn Emerson is to be commended for her work in assisting the University with this grant.

 “We are very appreciative of Congresswoman Emerson and her office for their efforts in assisting us in securing this grant,” Parsons said. “Her continued support and vision is allowing us to serve teachers and administrators statewide.”

The grant program, which is being coordinated by Wayne Fields of Southeast Missouri State, specifically targets Jefferson City, Pettis County R-5, Moniteau County R-1, Columbia and Sedalia, districts with the highest enrollments of Limited English Proficient (LEP) students. The goal of the program is “to bring parents, administrators and teachers into collaboration with one another,” Parsons said.

The program is intended to reach teachers, administrators and parents of migrants, immigrants, refugees, adopted children and those whose parents are here for education, research and international business.

Once this model is established in mid-Missouri, the program will be extended to the entire state in collaboration with Migrant English Language Learner Instruction Specialists at Regional Professional Development Centers across Missouri, she said.

The grant provides in-service training and professional development opportunities for teachers in standards, teaching methods and strategies, and curricular development. The grant also provides training for non-instructional staff on developing a school climate and culture supportive of English Language Learning students and parents. The program is designed to increase the number of trained, certified English as a Second Language mainstream and special needs teachers in grades K-12 in the mid-Missouri region. The grant aims to boost the number of trained, certified teachers with a master’s degree who may become Master Teachers and then train their peers on working with English Language Learning.