Teacher education center opens at NSU-BA
Source: Northeastern State University
Tahlequah, Okla. — Northeastern State University celebrated the opening of the RiverHawk Center for Teacher Excellence with ribbon cuttings on the Tahlequah and Broken Arrow campuses on Nov. 13.
NSU was awarded a 4-year grant totaling more than $1 million through the Augustus F. Hawkins Centers of Excellence Program to open the centers with the goal of increasing the number of comprehensively prepared teachers from diverse backgrounds.
Through this grant, NSU can help potential education majors, teacher candidates and current teachers be successful in their career journey to become certified, impactful and employed teachers by providing a comprehensive, positive and supportive environment for them to learn and grow.
“This event is not just an opening of a physical center or the celebration of that physical center,” NSU President Rodney Hanley said. “It’s also a celebration of a profession.”
The center will provide support to teacher candidates and teachers through scholarships, professional development, advising, mentoring, tutoring/coaching and other connections for overall assistance that supplement ongoing initiatives at the university.
Objectives include increasing the number of individuals from diverse backgrounds admitted and completing teacher education programs, including passing teacher certification tests. Another objective is to increase the number of certified teachers in areas of high need.
The grant has allowed the university to hire 11 staff members, 3 full-time and 8 part-time, to serve students through the center.
“NSU has a long history of comprehensively preparing quality teachers,” Dr. Vanessa Anton, Dean of the College of Education, said. “We will utilize this grant to further enhance and continue those traditions for today’s diverse students.”
Named for Augustus F. Hawkins, the first Black politician elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from west of the Mississippi River, the Augustus F. Hawkins Centers of Excellence Program supports comprehensive, high-quality teacher preparation programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities and Minority Serving Institutions.