Grant allows UWS, LCO to train more American Indian teachersA $1.1 million federal grant will enable Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College and the University of Wisconsin-Superior to launch a collaborative program to prepare more American Indian teachers, including some proficient in the Ojibwe language.
A $1.1 million federal grant will enable Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College and the University of Wisconsin-Superior to launch a collaborative program to prepare more American Indian teachers, including some proficient in the Ojibwe language.
The grant from the U.S. Department of Education will fund the first four years of the Lac Courte Oreilles Future Indian Teachers Project. The grant was received by Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College in cooperation with the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal Council and UWS.
The need for American Indian teachers to teach American Indian children has long been recognized. However, the Lac Courte Oreilles Reservation and all of Northwestern Wisconsin face a severe shortage of American Indian teachers. The Future Indian Teachers Project seeks to solve that shortage by preparing American Indian teachers skilled in the latest teaching methods and fluent in Ojibwe language and culture.
The goal of the Future Indian Teachers Project is for 15 students to earn bachelor’s degrees in education from UWS by 2015. Ojibwe language and culture will be a key part of the curriculum. Five of the teachers will be trained as Ojibwe Language Immersion Instructors for the Waadookodaading Ojibwe Charter School on the Lac Courte Oreilles Reservation.
After completing their UWS degrees, the teachers will complete a one-year teaching internship in the K-12 schools on the LCO reservation near Hayward.
Students enrolling in the teacher training program can live at home and receive assistance through scholarships and stipends. UWS faculty will teach some courses at Lac Courte Oreilles while others will be offered through interactive television and online through the university’s Distance Learning Center.
Success in obtaining funding for the Future Indian Teachers Project grew from an effort by members of the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal Council to work with UWS to obtain a Department of Education grant to create a program to recruit and train teachers.
Officials involved in the Future Indian Teachers Project want it to become a long-term effort to solve the region’s shortage of American Indian teachers.
Submitted by Al Miller, UWS University Relations office.