Press Releases Index

September 21, 2004
CONTACT: Jette Englund
Office of University Relations
908-737-NEWS (6397)

Kean University Awarded $5.8 Million Federal Education Grant

UNION, N.J. –Kean University has been awarded a five-year $5.8 million federal education grant for its Teacher Quality Enhancement Consortium (TQEC) partnership project aimed at preparing highly qualified teachers and improving student learning in middle schools in New Jersey’s high- need districts, U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige announced on September 17.

“On behalf of Kean University, its students, future teachers and children in the middle schools around the state, I thank the U.S. Department of Education for this very generous grant. I am heartened by the recognition of the U.S. Department of Education in awarding us this highly competitive grant,” said Kean University President Dawood Farahi, Ph.D. “This project continues to develop Kean’s commitment to collaboration with local schools to provide the best teachers and continue to improve the academic achievement of students in local schools. It reflects our support of the No Child Left Behind legislation to provide highly qualified teachers in New Jersey’s Middle School classrooms.”

“The average passing rate on 8th-grade statewide achievement tests in high-need districts is 43.92 percent. We intend to significantly improve these educational outcomes and impact more than 21,000 middle school students,” said Dr. Gail-Hilliard-Nelson, TQEC executive director. Hilliard-Nelson said the TQEC grant will help Kean University’s College of Education in achieving its project goals of “realigning teacher-preparation programs with New Jersey’s new licensing code for middle schools; preparing new teachers in assessment and evidence-based teaching in high-need middle schools; increasing the use of technology including the Laptops in the Classroom project, supported by Apple Computers; and increase mentor training and induction programs to support new teachers.”

Kean University’s partners are: Rowan and Rider Universities, their colleges of education, liberal arts and sciences; and the public school districts of Bridgeton, Perth Amboy, Trenton, Piscataway and Woodbury; Educational Testing Service, Princeton, N.J., and the Buck Institute for Education.

“I believe that every child deserves the opportunity to learn from a teacher who is highly qualified and competent,” Paige said. “Research and common sense tell us that teachers have a significant impact on student achievement. These grants support projects to strengthen teacher-training programs and improve student achievement – a key goal of the No Child Left Behind education reforms.”