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Multicultural Educators Project (1999 2003)

Ruth Saad El-Dein and Don Swanjord

 

 

Goals:

  1. Support of minority-language Education majors to qualify for Minnesota licensure and to teach in southwestern Minnesota districts.
  2. Enrichment of academic life of multicultural/minority-language junior-high and senior-high students by mentoring and tutoring relationships with Education Department students.

 

Mentorship program of junior-high students began as a pilot program in 1999, with funding to the SMSU Dept. of Education by the Dept. of Children, Families & Learning.

 

With the support of Teachers of Color/Multicultural Educators grants from the State of MN (SMSU and SW/WC Service Cooperative, 2000-2001; 2002-2003) and with Title VII US Dept. of Education grant (SW/WC Service Cooperative, 1999-2004), the Multicultural Educators Project at SMSU began with 2 participants in early 2000. The Steering Committee consisted of Ruth Saad El-Dein, June Nichols, Jean Replinger, and Don Swanjord.

 

There has been an average of 12 participants each semester in full-time study at SSU/SMSU. All are Minnesota residents, and their home languages are not English (Spanish, Somali, Oromu). Two participants are freshmen, two are sophomores, seven are completing their sophomore year or beginning junior year in this semester (F03), two are seniors, and one graduated in Spring 03. Two participants are not enrolled this semester.

 

With the support of Teachers of Color/Multicultural Educators grants from the State of MN or with Title VII Federal grant, the project has paid $20,000 to $25,000 in tuition and fees each semester since Fall 2000, and purchased $3,000 to $5,000 in books from the Bookstore each semester. In addition, most of the participants have taken interim and summer session classes. The project has paid for daycare, mileage, extensive tutoring and advanced ESL classes throughout the years.

 

All of the participants use grants and loans administered by the Financial Aid office, and some have been supported by the Education Department minority scholarship.

 

MEP organizes mentor and tutor relationships for the participants. MEP also requires a seminar on education topics for all participants in addition to the regular university and department requirements; this 1-credit seminar is a feature of the program for the first two years of study.

 

The Multicultural Educators grants from the MN Dept. of Education ended in the Spring of 2003, and the Title VII Federal grant will end in June, 2004.


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