Macomb, IL… A federal grant for early education in rural regions has been awarded to Western Illinois University, according to Assistant Republican Leader Norine Hammond (R-Macomb).
The grant, funded by the federal government and distributed by the Illinois Board of Higher Education and the governor’s office, focuses on adults who already work in early childhood education but do not have higher education credentials.
“WIU’s $225,500 grant focuses on helping adults who already work in early education. The goal of the grant is to give nontraditional students a way to return to the classroom and become certified early education teachers,” said Rep. Hammond.
“This grant is a win-win for teachers and students. We better prepare our teachers who in return improve early education for our preschoolers. Preschoolers who are well prepared for Kindergarten do better in grade school and beyond.”
The early childhood credential grant totals $1.3 million. Schools in Illinois who are receiving grants are: WIU, Quincy University, Lewis University, Joliet Junior College and National Louis University. Illinois is experiencing a teacher shortage, according to the Illinois Board of Higher Education. That shortage continues to grow. WIU is working to solve the teacher shortage by applying for grants and putting working adults back in the classroom.