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School of Education and Professional Studies Receives Major Donation

by Angela Fortuna

The School of Education and Professional Studies (SEPS) received a generous donation of $1 million from an anonymous source.

On Tuesday, Feb. 2, students and faculty of Central Connecticut State University were informed of this.

The donation “will establish an endowed scholarship fund for students enrolled in its teacher preparation program,” said CCSU President Zulma Toro.

“The gift will be used to underwrite scholarships for CCSU students preparing to become teachers,” said Dean of the School of Education and Professional Studies Michael Alfano.

The scholarship will be available to students of all grade levels enrolled in the teacher preparation program.

The teacher preparation program at CCSU is very well-known and highly ranked in the state of Connecticut. The program was accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

“Our teacher preparation program has been ranked as the best in the state, so this wonderful gift will enable us to better support students in that program, and as a result, enhance the quality of education in the State of Connecticut for generations to come,” said Dr. Toro.

“SEPS is recognized as a leader in both education and other human service fields, including nursing, counseling, and social work,” as stated on the SEPS webpage.

This generous donation will be beneficial for many years to come by providing financial support to students wanting to pursue their careers in education.

Since the need for teachers continues to grow, it is important to find more students who want to pursue careers in the field of education and professional studies.

Teacher shortages across the United States have grown over the years.

According to a poll performed by The Washington Post in 2013, teacher satisfaction has declined by 23 percent since 2008, going from 62 percent of teachers being very satisfied to only 39 percent, the lowest level in 25 years. 51 percent of teachers reported undergoing great stress many days a week, an increase of 15 percent from 1985.

This lack of teachers instigates a greater need for educational instructors.

“A member of the family who donated the gift had a background in teaching,” said Alfano. “They recognized the importance of the contributions teachers make to our society and wanted to be able to provide those interested in pursuing a career in public education financial assistance in realizing their career goals.”

The $1 million donation will serve as the largest donation to SEPS in CCSU history.

The largest donation given to CCSU was in 2014 by philanthropist and calligrapher Huang Chang-Jen, who passed away in 2012. $6.5 million was given. The money was put into the C.J. Huang fund and was used to build a new student recreation center, attached to Kaiser Hall. $3 million of the donated amount was split evenly between the School of Business, the School of Graduate Studies and the School of Education and Professional Studies.

Anyone who wishes to donate to SEPS or any other school at CCSU can through the school’s individual website.

“On behalf of the University, I want to express our deep gratitude for this magnificent and transformational contribution,” said Dr. Toro.