News: CCU Awarded Daniels Fund Grant

CCU Awarded Daniels Fund Grant to Launch Innovative Teacher Preparation Program

Colorado Christian University (CCU), the flagship Christian liberal arts university in the Rocky Mountain region, has accepted a generous grant from the private charitable organization, Daniels Fund, to develop a new innovative training model for education students and teachers.

“This grant will enable us to better prepare our teacher candidates to employ evidence-based practices within a structured, clinical teaching setting, mentored by master teachers and supported by robust modeling and feedback,” said Dr. Debora Scheffel, dean of the School of Education at CCU.

“We are incredibly grateful to the Daniels Fund for this generous donation to CCU,” said Eric Hogue, vice president of University Advancement. “CCU's School of Education in the College of Undergraduate Studies is already recognized across the state and the nation as being one of the best teacher preparatory programs. This grant will enable us to continue in that mission to prepare teacher candidates who are not only outstanding educators, but also respected members of their communities.”

In collaboration with Best in the World Teachers (BIW), a national teacher preparation organization, CCU will develop a new Clinical Practice Program and Teaching and Learning Center for its education students and the community. This is a novel approach for addressing education needs, especially while K-12 classrooms have limited availability for hands-on learning due to COVID-19 safety restrictions. By bringing elementary age students to the CCU campus for learning, and by combining effective technology and other research-based pedagogies for instruction, teacher candidates will partner with learners to engage in authentic learning with real students.

“The events of the last year have underscored how important it is that we have teachers with the knowledge and skills to succeed from day one,” said Patrick Riccards, executive director of BIW Teachers. “There are few things as important to that success as effective literacy and content-rich instruction, and BIW Teachers is honored to work with CCU to ensure it is central to the future of teacher education. We are grateful to Daniels Fund for making it possible to build a model for the future of effective educator preparation.”

Through this new model, future CCU elementary education graduates will enter Colorado classrooms with a strong background in liberal arts studies and deep content knowledge and pedagogy in the context of a critical thinking model. This clinical practice model will help to ensure that teacher candidates receive the rigorous preparation required to positively impact the academic achievement of the next generation of learners.

The Center for Teaching and Learning at CCU, will provide opportunities to partner with parents and families to engage in the learning process. Recognizing the value of supporting the family’s commitment to education, CCU aims for the new center to help prepare parents, the most important influence on children, to step into the role of virtual education teachers or facilitators for their children both now and in the future.