Montclair State Awarded Prestigious $6 Plus Million Grant from U.S. Department Of Education

Largest Grant in University History

Montclair, NJ -- Montclair State University's College of Education and Human Services was awarded a five-year grant, in the amount of $6,348,432.64, the largest in University history, from the U.S. Department of Education for the "Newark-Montclair Teaching Residency Program" (NMTRP). Partners include the College of Science and Mathematics, Newark Public Schools, and the Newark Teachers' Union.

When announcing the grant, New Jersey Congressman Bill Pascrell said, "The key to preserving the prosperity of any society is education." A member of the House Ways and Means Committee and a former educator who wrote in support of Montclair State University's grant application, Pascrell continued "This funding will help establish an innovative program to help provide better teachers in the schools that need them the most. That will help ensure future prosperity for us all."

"This investment in Montclair State University will help one of our finest teacher preparation programs improve the quality of education for thousands of Newark students," stated U.S. Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg. "It will advance a great partnership between Montclair State and Newark and help local public school students achieve even higher standards in the classroom."

Building on more than two decades of collaboration dedicated to preparing excellent teachers for high-need schools, the Newark Public Schools (NPS)-Montclair State University (MSU) Teaching Residency Program (NMTRP) seeks to improve student achievement by coupling rigorous research-based teacher preparation with the concrete needs and realities of Newark Public Schools.

In the five years of the grant, 100 teacher residents will participate in full-time, paid clinical apprenticeships with highly- qualified mentor teachers. Simultaneously, residents will engage in rigorous coursework and will receive a master's degree and teacher certification in mathematics, science, or elementary and special education. Upon completion of the master's degree, residents will be hired by Newark Public Schools and will receive induction support through the NMTRP, which will also be made available to all new teachers in Newark Public Schools. Intensive, carefully designed professional development will support both novice and experienced teacher mentors in the continued development of their knowledge and skills for teaching, mentoring, and ultimately improving student achievement. Over the course of the project, 100 experienced teachers in Newark Public Schools will undertake National Board Certification as master teachers in their fields.

N.J. Sen. Bob Menendez commented that "Teachers are the foundation of a quality education, and a quality education is essential for our children to make valuable contributions to Newark and to the city's economic competitiveness. This investment is an investment in New Jersey's economic future and continued leadership."

"Innovative strategies, such as this program, are the only hope that high-need districts will have in providing plausible, sustainable solutions to the problem of identifying and supporting teachers who possess content expertise and a willingness to teach in challenging academic environments," said Dr. Clifford B. Janey, State District Superintendent for Newark Public Schools. "The district looks forward to working with Montclair State University."

Released: October 6, 2009