School of Education receives $5 million grant to close the equity gap for Black and Latina women

American University School of Education and its community partners received a $ 5 million grant from JP Morgan Chase, President Sylvia Berwell announced email January 28.

The grant was a response to the OS PEDALS the initiative and its partnership with Trinity University Washington, LIFT DC and Martha’s table. The PEDALS initiative focuses on creating a program of accounting documents that can be imposed, ranging from an Associate Certificate in Child Development and ending with a Bachelor’s degree in AU or Trinity.

Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy, dean of SOE, said the PEDALS program aims to increase access to education, training and financial support for black and Latin American women pursuing careers in early childhood education. The PEDALS initiative also deals with the provision of clinical sites as a requirement for obtaining a CDA in partnership with Martha’s table.

«Most the preschool staff in the county are colored women, ”Holcomb-McCoy said. “They work in preschool, working in children’s centers with very low salaries, and often can’t even support their own families.”

The grant will support caregivers receiving higher education, through childcare vouchers and travel to continue their studies at the CDA.

Vivian Vazquez, Professor of Education at AU, developed the CDA program through the prism of anti-racist thinking and culture-based pedagogy to better equip students in the field. The CDA program will provide flexibility to early childhood educators with asynchronous coursework.

“We hope to graduate about 300 Columbia residents, and most of them women, with their CDA credentials,” Holcomb-McCoy said.

Berwell and AU Vice-Chancellor Peter Starr have agreed with SOE to adjust their tuition fees in line with the cost of tuition under the Trinity program, making it more affordable and affordable. Most of the program will provide access to scholarship applications and ensure financial security.

“It’s pretty exciting,” Holcomb-McCoy said. “It is also a way for us at the School of Education to fully realize our mission to transform lives through education and our social justice and anti-racist approach.”

Holcomb-McCoy hopes to continue to bring together higher education institutions and nonprofits to train young educators with the best resources. She also said she plans to start investing in the opportunity to expand her program in more affluent communities.

“It shows us how important education is, and it’s an area where we need students who will carry the torch into the future,” Holcomb-McCoy said.

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