WSU given $4 million to fund future teacher, STEM, veteran programs

Funds will go to programs for low-income, first-generation students; programs will provide resources and assistance

This+is+the+second+time+WSU+has+received+money+to+fund+ATLAS%2C+a+teacher+preparation+grant.

SPENCER ECHON

This is the second time WSU has received money to fund ATLAS, a teacher preparation grant.

JENAE LAXSON, Evergreen reporter

WSU received $4 million in grants from the federal government for programs for low-income, first-generation students and students with disabilities.

The grants fund programs for students who are STEM majors, veterans or future teachers, said Michael Highfill, Office of Academic Engagement executive director.

WSU was awarded these grants because the university demonstrated the need and ability to help students successfully complete their degrees, said Ali Bretthauer, project director for Aspiring Teacher Leadership and Success, a teacher preparation grant. 

“It is a very competitive process,” she said. “Only 50 new programs are funded each year out of 1,300 programs.”

The money will fund a STEM program, future teacher program and veteran program, Bretthauer said.

The STEM programs will provide resources to students because there are not enough resources for low-income or first-generation students who are going into STEM, she said.

The future teacher program offers advising for students to stay on track in their degree because the path to become a teacher is rigorous, Highfill said.

This is the second time WSU has received money to fund ATLAS, Bretthauer said. The grant will last for five years.

There are a limited number of students who can receive ATLAS, so students’ high school GPAs are also taken into account, she said.

The university also intends to hire staff who were student veterans or who were students at WSU, as advisers and mentors to make the programs more effective, Bretthauer said. 

The grants fill gaps in the lack of resources WSU has. There are not enough resources to meet all of the students’ needs, specifically veterans, Bretthauer said.

“[Veterans are] such a unique population,” she said, “and they have earned and deserve additional support.”