Buoyed by the success of its Committee of Friends alumni scholarship program, the College of Education is writing a new fundraising chapter to benefit students who have chosen Fredonia to prepare them to become the best teachers possible.
More than $50,000 raised by the Committee of Friends since its formation in 2012 has been allocated to specifically fund much-needed scholarships for students. This unique program pools individual gifts from multiple donors so that individual, $2,000 scholarships can be awarded to a variety of deserving students.
“Every dollar that alumni have given has gone directly to a student whose dream is to become a teacher,” said Christine Givner, founding dean of the College of Education.
Now, the College of Education is expanding its fundraising scope by creating a new giving option. This will enable Fredonia alumni donations to enhance academic programming for students, purchase new equipment on which they can be trained, and expand the professional development opportunities available on the Fredonia campus, to ensure that today’s teachers are being taught via best practice models.
Specifically, donations to the new College of Education Initiatives program, made through the Fredonia College Foundation will (1) support professional development for P-12 teachers that expands their pedagogical repertoire; (2) sponsor professional development for faculty for increased student learning; and (3) expand opportunities for clinical practice of innovative pedagogy for teacher candidates, so that they are more effective educators when they step inside their own classroom for the first time.
“The new fund’s goal is to create an environment within the College of Education that provides students with cutting-edge technology as well as classroom space that models research-based instructional practices,” Dr. Givner explained.
Greater access to innovative technology is needed so students can practice using it to create powerful learning environments through the use of rehearsing, video recording, critique lessons and instructional techniques that are conducted within small, collaborative peer group settings.
Through these program enhancements, students will be well positioned for success as they begin their teaching careers.
“We know that it’s especially important to our practicing P-12 educators that the next generation of Fredonia graduates entering education is ‘classroom-ready’ and able to promote student learning,” Dean Givner explains.
The new initiatives will enhance Fredonia’s ability to do exactly that, by ensuring access to the latest classroom technologies and best-practice approaches to learning.
The College of Education offers 29 programs — 15 at the undergraduate level and 14 at the graduate level — so a donation to the newer Initiatives program represents an investment in thousands of future teachers prepared at Fredonia. Another 280 education graduates earned degrees this past May.
The foundation reached out to College of Education alumni in June with a letter introducing the new program as well as a brochure that describes how their donations will assist students. Alumni are encouraged to become a Committee of Friends member by giving at the $200 level or higher, and designating a recipient: either the Initiatives or the Scholarship program. Those who have already given to the Scholarship program are welcome to continue that support, or make an additional gift to the new Initiatives program, if they like.
“We’re reaching out to engage alumni so they can learn about the exciting things that are happening in the College of Education, and have the opportunity to be part of our success,” said Heather Mc- Keever, associate director of Development at the Fredonia College Foundation.
For more information about the College of Education’s Initiatives program and/or the Committee of Friends fund, please contact Ms. McKeever at (716) 673-3321 or Heather.McKeever@fredonia.edu.