Ashland University Schar College of Education Receives $249,000 Grant

8/20/10 ASHLAND. OH -- The Ashland University Dwight Schar College of Education, the lead U.S. university in collaboration with Georgetown College and Brigham Young University, has been awarded a $249,091 grant from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) International Program.

The grant will also involve several Brazilian partners, funded by Brazil's Ministry of Education's Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES), include Universidade do Estado de Santa Catarina and Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro. In addition, the Council for Exceptional Children will serve as a non-funded associate partner.

The grant, which is under the auspices of the FIPSE U.S.-Brazil Higher Education Consortia Program, will be used for "Diversity: Meeting the Cultural Demands of Education in the 21st Century" activities, which began Aug. 1 and will end July 31, 2014. One hundred percent of the project is being funded by FIPSE.

Carla Abreu-Ellis, assistant professor of inclusive services and exceptional learners in the Schar College of Education, and Jason Ellis, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction in the Schar College of Education, co-wrote the grant application. Abreu-Ellis is the project director and the U.S. lead person.

"This project will prepare educators to be globally aware of 21st century professionals in the classroom," Abreu-Ellis said. "Having experienced language and cultural competency components presented in this project, students will become aware of not only the lived realities of diversity and educational equity issues in their own communities, both regionally and nationally in the United States, but an in-depth comparative model of their systematic conditions with that of Brazilian education at its local and national levels."

Abreu-Ellis, who is a native of Brazil, said the consortium between the two countries is something in which she has been interested for many years.

"I came across this grant a few years ago and I waited for the right opportunity to submit an application. At Ashland University we seek to prepare our students for their global responsibilities and I believe that this project is aligned with the overall mission of the institution," she said. "Brazilian and American undergraduate education majors selected to participate in this program will benefit greatly from the opportunity of studying abroad as they seek competency in teaching in a diverse world."

"Many innovations in curriculum and instruction have been incorporated into this project and will include alignment of comparative education colloquia between the two countries, the use of technology in moving toward language proficiency and the establishment of online learning communities to create a social network of learners with similarly aligned professional, pedagogical, and personal goals," Ellis said.

Ellis added, "The intention of focusing on this particular theme is the goal of reaching the final outcome, as a shared philosophy by all partners in this consortium, of the importance of preparing pre-service teachers to succeed as agents of change in forming a global community of 21st century educators."

Ashland University (www.ashland.edu<http://www.ashland.edu>) is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.

For more information, contact: Dr. Carla Abreu-Ellis, 401 College Ave, 258 Dwight Schar College of Education, (419)289-5392, cellis1@ashland.edu<mailto:cellis1@ashland.edu>.