Zeist Foundation Grants $75,000 to GSU Birth Through Five Teacher Education Program

Funding helps meet Blank Foundation’s challenge to develop teachers through tech colleges

Atlanta-based the Zeist Foundation recently awarded $75,000 to Georgia State University to help prepare students from local technical colleges to teach the state’s youngest children.

The gift will benefit the Professional Development Partnerships Birth Through Five Program in the GSU College of Education’s early childhood education department. The goal is to build a pipeline of early care and learning professionals and a network of partner centers to improve the quality of early childhood education across the state.

The support helps meet a challenge from the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, which in 2011 gave $217,158 in matching funds for this program.

The Professional Development Partnerships Birth Through Five Program supports 15 outstanding students from Atlanta and Gwinnett Technical Colleges and Georgia Piedmont Technical (formerly DeKalb Technical College) through scholarships toward bachelor’s degrees and certification in the education college’s Birth Through Five Program.

The funding will also reach 10 local childcare centers expected to serve as classrooms for this training program. The centers will represent metro Atlanta’s diverse population. From 800 to 1,000 children and their current teachers are expected to benefit from the GSU training.

This initiative also highlights GSU’s position as a unique educational hub for Georgia. GSU is the only institution, public or private, currently offering the B-5 program with an articulation agreement that allows transfer of academic credits from all 26 technical colleges in Georgia.

—By Michelle Hiskey; Contact Kim Cretors, (404) 413-3424