The George Kaiser Family Foundation awarded Northeastern State University's College of Education a $50,000 grant for their Education Professionally Immersed Co-Teaching Program, more commonly referred to as EPIC.
Ken Levit, Executive Director of The George Kaiser Family Foundation formally presented the grant for scholarships to Northeastern State University president, Dr. Steve Turner on Friday, July 25 at the Regional University System of Oklahoma regents meeting that was held at the NSU-Tahlequah campus.
"The availability of affordable, high quality early childhood education is a high priority for the foundation and we are pleased to partner with NSU in this important initiative", said Levit.
Scholarships will be granted by the NSU Foundation to EPIC students who will teach at Tulsa Educare, an early childhood program with three schools in the Tulsa area, in the upcoming academic year. Each student who is qualified and selected for the program will receive a $5,000 annual scholarship. There is a limit of 10 scholarships per year.
"This is the first time that NSU has received funding from the George Kaiser Family Foundation", said NSU President Steve Turner. "The grant is a huge boost to our scholarship efforts and a testament to the creativity and hard work of our College of Education and the NSU Foundation."
EPIC puts students in front of the classroom almost twice as long as currently required. This program spans a full academic year and students receive up to 30 credit hours and as many as 34 weeks of valuable experience in a public school setting.
The pilot program included nine NSU students according to Dr. Stan Sanders, assistant professor and clinical education director. Three of the students had employment contracts before the semester ended and all but one are currently employed as teachers. The ninth student went on to pursue a degree in a master's program.
A total of 30 students have volunteered to be part of the EPIC program this fall. This immersive learning program is offered in all 12 of the majors offered within Northeastern's College of Education, including early childhood education.