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Friday, October 13, 2000

SSU Receives Learn and Serve America Program Grant

SALISBURY, MD---Salisbury State University recently received a $200,000 grant from the Corporation for National Service’s Learn and Serve America Program.

The grant is to support a consortium of three public higher education universities, Coppin State College, Towson University and Salisbury State University to infuse service learning into their teacher preparation programs. Faculty teams from each of the three campuses will develop curriculum to prepare future teachers to use service learning effectively.

The application for the grant was written by faculty and staff from SSU’s Institute for Service Learning and from SSU’s Samuel W. and Marilyn C. Seidel School of Education and Professional Studies.

Prior to the grant, no systematic preparation in the theory of service learning was provided by teacher education programs in the University System of Maryland.

Dr. Nomsa Geleta, project director for the Teacher Education Consortium in Service Learning (TECSL) project, said that the initiative is timely. "Our public universities have a responsibility to train future teachers in the pedagogy of service learning considering that service learning is a state requirement for graduation from high school. The grant will afford us an opportunity to arm our future teachers with strategies to engage learners in authentic experiences where they could purposefully apply the knowledge and skills gained in the classroom."

Josh Fradel, coordinator of instruction for the Worcester County Board of Education said, "Implementing service learning in school districts has been a struggle. Until now, little attention was paid to pre-service teacher training. This effort will have positive effects both in the short- and long term."

At the end of three years, each of the three public universities will have a cadre of faculty members in various pre-service teaching courses who will train education students in service learning. SSU Public Relations - 410-543-6030

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