CU Denver Wins $8.5 Million Five-Year Teacher Preparation Grant

Grant Will Help Recruit, Prepare, Retain Rural and Urban Teachers

Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet announced that the University of Colorado Denver has won a five-year grant totaling $8,523,405 grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Teacher Quality Partnership Grant program. CU Denver will use the grant to fund its NxtGEN Teacher Preparation Program and recruit, prepare, and retain 340 teachers for urban and rural schools in Colorado. The grant will be distributed over a five-year period, beginning with $1.267 million this year.

Through this grant program, CU Denver’s School of Education and Human Development (SEHD) program will help address teacher shortages in rural and urban areas. NxtGEN will create a new undergraduate urban teacher residency program with Denver Public Schools (DPS) and support an expansion of the 5th year licensure with rural school districts. CU Denver is partnering with Denver Public Schools, 28 high-need rural school districts represented by the San Luis Valley, South Central, and Santa Fe Boards of Cooperative Education Services, the Colorado Department of Higher Education, and the Colorado Department of Education.

“Colorado is a leader in developing innovative teacher preparation programs,” Bennet said. “These programs will help ensure all of our kids receive a high-quality education. Our teachers and principals are key to preparing students for success, and we need to give them every tool and resource to help make that possible.”

“We are thrilled to receive the funding from the US Department of Education for a partnership between the University of Colorado Denver, School of Education and Human Development, Denver Public Schools, and 24 high-need rural districts,” said Rebecca Kantor, Dean of the CU Denver School of Education and Human Development. “The aim of NxtGEN is to create the ‘next generation’ of teacher education, one that strategically recruits local diverse talent and provides supported, clinically-intensive customized pathways to prepare highly qualified teachers in urban and rural school settings. In addition, NxtGEN will answer the call for universities and districts to collaborate in the transformation of induction support for the early years of teaching.”

CU Denver is one of two Colorado-based projects out of a total of 24 grantees selected by the Department of Education. The Public Education & Business Coalition, a partnership between the Colorado Boettcher Teacher Residency Program and Adams State University, is the other award in the state.

The Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) program aims to increase student achievement by improving the quality of new prospective teachers. The Department of Education awards grants to partnerships comprised of colleges and universities and high-needs schools that are developing model teacher preparation programs. TQP grants may also support school leadership programs to train superintendents, principals, early childhood education program directors, and other school leaders in high-need or rural schools.