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Windgate Foundation Awards $3.5M to UA Little Rock Teacher Education Program

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The University of Arkansas at Little Rock on Monday announced that it received a $3.5 million grant from the Windgate Foundation to endow the directorship of its School of Education.

The gift will support the transformation of teacher education at UA Little Rock in its quest to become a premier provider of teachers in the state, the university said in a news release. Primary goals will be strengthening partnerships with K-12 schools and state school districts, increasing enrollment, supporting curricular innovation and meaningful assessment, raising awareness of the program, and raising funds to support teacher preparation efforts.

“We are incredibly grateful to the Windgate Foundation for their generous support of this effort,” Christina Drale, chancellor of UA Little Rock, said in the release. “High quality teacher education has never been more important. This funding will help us sustain strong leadership for the program and will make possible further investment in innovative teacher preparation at UA Little Rock.”

Since 2021, UA Little Rock has received more than $550,000 from Forward Arkansas to develop an innovative model focused on reimaging teacher education. The support from the Windgate Foundation allows the university to strengthen its work by launching a national search for the first Windgate Director of the School of Education.

“We were impressed with the work of Chancellor Drale and the education leadership team in articulating their vision and plan to transform teacher education,” Pat Forgy, executive director of the Windgate Foundation, said in the release. “These critical improvements will allow UA Little Rock to provide a clear pathway for classroom-ready teachers in Arkansas. It is our honor to support this effort, and we look forward to seeing the impact it will have in the years ahead.”

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