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UMKC School of Education Launches Major Expansion and Fundraising Efforts

The Institute for Urban Education kicked off a $15 million capital campaign to help support enrollment growth and programming additions for students and partners
African American male education student excitedly interacts with diverse group of children in classroom setting

The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Education is launching major efforts to expand its Institute for Urban Education, which prepares students and teachers for success in urban classrooms.

The institute recently kicked off a $15 million capital campaign with support of the newly appointed Dean's Fundraising Council, co-chaired by Leo Morton, UMKC chancellor emeritus and DeBruce Companies COO; and Jerry Reece, former CEO of Kansas City real estate agency ReeceNichols.

The $15 million campaign aims to support enrollment growth, programming additions and staff support for the Institute for Urban Education as it works to address the need for more highly motivated, exemplary teachers in K-12 classrooms in greater Kansas City area school districts.

Programming additions include:
  • Adding a graduate education component to the Institute for Urban Education's existing undergraduate program
  • Opportunities for career changes — the Master of Arts in Teaching, a four-semester program for people with bachelor's degrees in any area interested in teaching
  • Additional services to partner schools, professional development in diversity, equity and inclusion and culturally relevant instruction, masters degrees and certifications
Enrollment-growth tactics include:
  • Grow Your Own: a comprehensive approach to developing pipeline programs for future Institute for Urban Education students/teachers in local K-12 schools. The program aims to add more teachers of color, particularly males, who view urban education as a social justice profession.
  • Expanded scholarship opportunities, including the Sherman Scholars program, which will provide more than 150, $15,000 annual scholarships over five years to support students in both graduate and undergraduate teacher prep programs.
  • Staffing additions: new associate director for urban education, 2.5 staff coordinators and a recruiter

“Supporting urban education continues to be a top priority for UMKC,” said Justin Perry, dean of the UMKC School of Education. “The expansion of the Institute for Urban Education provides us unique opportunities to help address the teacher shortage in Kansas City, and help place more well-equipped teachers in classrooms who reflect the population of the students they serve. We are excited to continue working with our partner schools as we support our community's efforts to shape the future of the Kansas City education system it deserves.”

The institute partners with the following greater Kansas City school districts to develop pipeline programs for future teachers: Kansas City Public Schools, Kansas City Kansas Public Schools, Center School District and Hickman Mills School District

Founded in 2005, the Institute for Urban Education prepares and supports teachers for success in urban classrooms by focusing on social justice, multicultural education, diversity and equity. The institute has remained a locally focused program, recruiting students from neighboring communities who want to remain in the greater Kansas City area for their careers.