College of Public Service Grants Spring Roundup
By Sheryl E. Taylor
It’s only March and the College of Public Service (CPS) announces more funding for student success.
- The Texas Education Agency (TEA) awarded $50,000 grant to review the program that leverages triangulation of data sources (interviews, programming observations, data sets, artifacts, etc.) to reflect on the quality of UHD’s teacher preparation as well as to provide improvement strategies and performance management of its program. “This grant will enable UHD to continue to develop its own agency to improve the effectiveness of our graduates and the impact they have on PK-12 students,” noted Schwartz. “As we come to the transformation part of our U.S. PREP Grant, this will assist us in continual improvement of our program.”
- Congratulations to Dr. Tonya Jeffery, Assistant Professor of Urban Education, and colleagues Dr. Lizette Burks, Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership; Dr. Susan Albrecht, Assistant Professor of Bilingual Education; and Dr. Lisa Morano, Professor of Biology and Microbiology and Director of the Center for Urban Agriculture & Sustainability for their $68,749 Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Co-Op grant. The Let’s Go Outside!—Urban Explorers Girls STEM Academy will provide authentic environmental science educational experiences for 100 middle-school girls from the Greater Houston area. The grant will also fund a week-long summer Environmental Science Institute that will provide professional development training for in-service and pre-service teachers selected to participate in the program.
- The William Stamps Farish Fund awarded a one-year grant of $45,000 to develop support services to successfully help pre-service teachers, enrolled in the College’s Department of Urban Education, complete Texas teacher certification exams.
More specifically, the project “Preparing Qualified Teachers for Students’ Success in the Houston Area Schools” will assist in addressing lower teacher certification rates. The strategy will include boot camps to provide supplementary instructional materials and diagnostic tests to determine baseline test scores for teacher candidates. According to the College’s proposal to the Farish Fund, there is a critical need to increase the number of fully certified teachers: “In Houston, this need is acutely felt. A recent report noted that within the Houston community, the number of fully certified teachers fell by roughly 20% from 2010 to 2019.” Urban Education faculty members Dr. Yu-Han Hung, Assistant Professor, and Dr. Ashwini Tiwari, Associate Professor, are the leads on this grant.
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.
U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.