The University of Arizona has received $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to fund its Indigenous Teacher Education Project.
The project run by the university’s College of Education will use the grant to double Native American students and focus more on providing STEM education.
“As a result of this grant, we are now able to provide this next generation of teachers with skills and practices in STEM, as well as the confidence needed in order to integrate STEM within their classrooms,” said project director Valerie Shirley, an assistant professor in the College of Education.
Started in 2016, the project aims to increase the number of indigenous teachers who can serve indigenous schools, students and communities.
After receiving the grant, the university has increased the intake of Native American students from 14 to 28 with more focus on imparting STEM education.
“The Indigenous Teacher Education Project embodies core elements of the University of Arizona’s mission as a service-oriented and student-centered university,” said UA President Robert C. Robbins.
“Serving the Native nations of our region is central to that mission, and it is incredibly important for the success of Native American students at all levels of learning that there are more Native American teachers. The expansion of this program will not only improve the quality of education for indigenous students, but will also hopefully increase representation of indigenous people in STEM-related fields, which will benefit everyone in our community.”
The university has also entered in new partnerships with various tribes and organizations to ensure the success of the project.