JE Dunn Provides Initial Funding for Kansas City Initiative
Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (Nov. 23, 2009) – Demonstrating its commitment to building strong learning opportunities for educators in the metropolitan area, JE Dunn Construction Company has provided a lead gift of $50,000 toward The Kansas City Initiative, a project launched by UCM's College of Education.
A Model for Corporate Support of Teacher Education
The gift will be provided to the UCM Foundation over a three-year period. The company’s sponsorship will serve as a model for other corporations to support teacher education and programs for counselors, administrators and other education professionals that benefit Kansas City’s urban and suburban school districts.
According to Mike Wright, dean of the College of Education, an important goal for the initiative is to extend the university’s education programs, especially those available only in Warrensburg, by offering more opportunities at the UCM Summit Center in Lee’s Summit and through other venues in the metropolitan area.
“We’re very grateful to JE Dunn Construction Company and its commitment to helping us provide a foundation for quality education programs,” Wright said. “We want to make our degree programs more accessible to more people with a goal to prepare more qualified teachers and to make UCM a university of choice for Kansas Citians who want to enter the education field.”
Expanding Influence in an Area of Crucial Need
Financial support from JE Dunn Construction Company will help pay for a program coordinator who can help the College of Education to achieve objectives such as:
- Establishing collaborative partnerships with stakeholders who believe in the importance of quality teacher education in the greater Kansas City area;
- Providing programs to improve teacher quality and overall student achievement in communities within the greater Kansas City area;
- Expanding relationships between community colleges and UCM to provide teacher education degree programs in the metropolitan area;
- Enhancing field experiences in urban settings for interns in teacher education programs, and
- Cultivating and enhancing important professional relationships between UCM and area school districts, community colleges, corporations, public agencies and communities.
A Partnership for the Future
Stressing a need for such an initiative, William H. Dunn, Sr., chairman emeritus of JE Dunn Construction Company, said “We have a long relationship with the University of Central Missouri, and we welcome the opportunity for a partnership benefiting education programs for both Missouri and Kansas.”
Wright said the initiative will maximize the College of Education’s strengths, including its emphasis on rigorous and challenging preparation and training of pre-service teachers. It will also provide an opportunity to develop more programs that give educators an opportunity to sharpen their skills in the classroom and to explore leadership and professional development opportunities as administrators. He believes the “initiative holds promise of becoming a unique and valuable network for producing more educated citizens for the state and nation for generations to come.”