Lattner challenge push hits high gear


Financial pressures, rather than worries about failing courses, are causing today’s students to consider dropping out of college. It’s a serious concern by itself, but it gets more worrisome when one factors in contemporary obstacles faced by those enrolled in teacher education institutions like Emporia State University.

“Those of you who completed preparation for teaching many years ago may be surprised to learn that today’s ESU students are asked to meet much more significant challenges,” writes Dr. Stuart Ervay, professor of school leadership at ESU. Ervay co-wrote “Rallying Around Our Own: Helping ESU Student Teaching Interns During A Challenging Time.”

A collaboration with Ervay’s daughter-in-law, Debbie Baxter Ervay (BSE’84), the essay highlights stiffer undergraduate requirements, a much different professional environment in the nation’s schools, and a very tight job market as the chief points of comparison between conditions existing 30 years ago and today.

Continuing a state-of-the-art teacher preparation program is an important method to help student teachers succeed. “However,” the essay explains, “that doesn’t diminish challenges the students face in paying for their field experience programs.”

The Teachers College is in the midst of fundraising to match a $50,000 challenge grant from the Lattner Family Foundation to support student teachers. Once the challenge is met, interns who demonstrate a financial need can be given money to help complete their program.

“They deserve all the support we can give them,” says Ervay. For more information on contributing toward the Lattner challenge grant, contact the ESU Foundation at (620) 341-5440.