The five-year grant from the Denver-based fund will support the UW Trustees College of Education Initiative, which was established by the university's board of trustees last year to elevate the UW College of Education to "pre-eminent status" in professional educator preparation, as well as to improve and enhance K-12 education in Wyoming. During 2016-17, the grant will fund a strategic planning phase that includes the hiring of an executive director to work with the dean of the school to lead the initiative; the appointment of a board to oversee the initiative; and the hiring of research consultants to help teams comprised of faculty, K-12 personnel, and other stakeholders to evaluate eight of the school's existing programs. In addition, the college will hold regional town hall meetings across the state to solicit and assess input.
After it is developed and approved by the Education Initiative Board and UW trustees, the plan will be implemented over a three-year period from 2018 to 2020. Funding for the third, fourth, and fifth years of the Daniels Fund grant will be contingent on UW obtaining $2 million in matching funds for each of the three implementation years.
"We appreciate the opportunity that will be provided with this support from the Daniels Fund to pursue the board's ambitious plan to lift the College of Education to new levels of excellence," said UW board of trustees president Dave Palmerlee. "This partnership sets the stage for what we expect will be an exciting and fruitful five-year effort that will pay dividends for the state for many years to follow, as measured by improved educator preparation that ultimately will increase student learning in Wyoming."