College of Education Benefits from $34.7 Million Grant from Gates Foundation

Funding Creates Teacher Preparation Centers, University Consortium

The University of Houston College of Education is part of a national effort to transform teacher preparation. Funded by a $34.7 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the effort will create teacher preparation centers and partnerships that will leverage data, knowledge and best practices.

“Being part of Gates’ funding speaks to the critical work being done here at the College of Education,” said Dean Robert McPherson. “This is a great opportunity to collaborate with other teacher preparation programs interested in reform, learn from those who have already undergone reform and strengthen our partnerships with the school districts we serve.”

The UH College of Education will be part of a six university consortium that pairs higher education institutions with local schools districts to review and renew teaching practices. The University-School Partnerships for the Renewal of Educator Preparation (U.S.PREP) includes:

  • University of Houston/Houston Independent School District
  • Texas Tech University/Lubbock Independent School District
  • Southern Methodist University/Dallas Independent School District
  • Southeastern Louisiana University/ Ascension/St. Charles Parish Schools
  • Jackson State University/ Jackson Public Schools
  • University of Memphis/ Shelby County Schools

“Sharing, collaborating and learning from one another not only shows that we are models of learning, but also that we are taking responsibility and holding ourselves accountable for preparing classroom-ready teachers,” said Sarah Beal, co-leader of the U.S. PREP.

The Gates award also will fund five Teacher Preparation Transformation Centers across the country. 

The award represents the foundation’s first investment in its teacher preparation strategy that supports programs that give teacher candidates opportunities to build and refine their skills, commit to continuous improvement and accountability and are shaped by the school districts and their communities.