The Graduate School of Education (GSE) has just been awarded a grant in the amount of $1.2 million from the US Department of Education Office of Indian Education (OIE) to recruit and prepare American Indian students to become teachers (obtaining a teaching license and master’s degree) over the next four years.
This is the second OIE professional development grant received by Portland State University (PSU) in four years. The first award, received in 2010, established the American Indian Teacher Program (AITP).
Dr. Micki Caskey, associate dean and principal investigator on the grant, lauded the AITP’s success. “We look forward to the good work initiated in collaborating with Tribal communities to serve their students.”
The Portland metro area has the largest Native American population in Oregon, yet very few Native Americans are represented among the ranks of Oregon’s 33,000 teachers. Since 2011, 12 American Indian teacher candidates, from throughout Oregon, have graduated from the AITP program. The AITP office is staffed by Maria Tenorio, project director, and Marilyn Quintero, assistant. Dr. Cornel Pewewardy, Director of Indigenous Nation Studies at PSU, continues as the AITP project liaison. More information on the American Indian Teacher Program can be found on the website, pdx.edu/aitp.