Ray Kieft speaking about Federal GrantThe five-year Teacher Quality Enhancement grant from the U.S. Department of Education was used to develop the Secondary Teacher Enhancement Project, a game-changing partnership with Denver Public Schools.

The grant’s primary focus was the mentoring of secondary teacher education students and newly hired teachers from the then-college’s secondary teacher education pool, providing support far beyond what new teachers usually received.

Along with current DPS teachers, faculty from what were then the Teacher Education Department and School of Letters, Arts and Sciences worked with students from the time they entered the program through their student teaching and then for their first three years in the classroom after being hired by DPS. The program was intended to become a model in teacher education for the rest of the country.

Another component of the project was the establishment of a Center for Teaching Excellence at MSU Denver. The center enabled teachers from DPS and master teachers at the then-college to share their best practices. The grant also provided incentives for faculty to be involved with DPS through teacher exchanges and curriculum development.

Ray Kieft, interim president, said the award demonstrated the quality of MSU Denver’s academic programs. “We’ve been identified as Colorado’s premier teacher-preparation institution,” he said, adding that at least one other Colorado institution had applied for, but not received the TQE grant.