Kansas Wesleyan and the Salina Education Foundation announced a new scholarship program Friday, designed to both aid in teacher recruitment and further the values of diversity, equity and inclusion. The RISE program will provide a $22,500 KWU scholarship to qualified, selected transfer students who enter the KWU Teacher Education program. Historically underrepresented groups will be the focus of the effort.
“From the beginning, Kansas Wesleyan has been committed to both bettering our community and the values of diversity, equity and inclusion,” said vice president of Advancement and university operations Ken Oliver. “We were among the first in the state to offer educational opportunities for Black students, and we were among Kansas’ early leaders in women’s athletics. We see the RISE program as an opportunity to allow new, fresh voices to do just that. They will rise within our community to help educate the leaders of tomorrow, leaders who can carry these values to even greater heights.”
“Growing our teaching staff to reflect the diversity of our students and community is a priority for us,” said Linn Exline, USD 305 superintendent. “Part of our district’s mission is to create more belonging in schools and the RISE program will support this. We appreciate our partners, Kansas Wesleyan University and the Salina Education Foundation, for their work in making this a reality.”
In addition to the annual scholarship, the program will also provide a $5,000 forgivable loan per student, enabling everyone in the program to complete a bachelor’s degree in Teacher Education at a greatly reduced expense. At the conclusion of the program and certification requirements, students will be provided the opportunity to become a teacher in USD 305, Salina’s school district.
“We are delighted to have the opportunity to partner with Kansas Wesleyan University to promote educational excellence in Salina’s public schools,” said Michael Chambers, executive director of the Salina Education Foundation. “The RISE program will positively impact the experience of our students and staff and create a lasting legacy in our community and the world.”
For more information on the RISE program, please contact the KWU Admissions office at (785) 833-4305 or [email protected].
ABOUT KWU: Kansas Wesleyan University is a private, non-profit four-year college located in Salina, Kan., and affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Its mission is to promote and integrate academic excellence, spiritual development, personal well-being and social responsibility. KWU provides an educational program characterized by excellence, within a caring community, rooted in the liberal arts tradition, that includes 16 academic departments and a wide range of majors. More than 98 percent of graduates from the past three years are in jobs or graduate school within six months of graduation, a figure that is among the top two such rates in the state of Kansas. KWU’s music program and debate teams have been especially successful, with debate winning more than 50 national championships and graduates of the music program securing positions all over the U.S., while multiple athletic teams have advanced to national tournaments. For more information, visit www.kwu.edu.
About Salina Education Foundation: Salina Education Foundation is a private non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and supporting educational excellence by providing resources to enhance opportunities for students and staff of Salina’s public schools. Established in 1987, Salina Education Foundation is supported by charitable donations from our community. Throughout the years, Salina Education Foundation has granted more than $750,000 to fund innovative and creative projects within USD 305. For more information visit www.SalinaEducationFoundation.com.
About Salina Public Schools: With 6,827 students, Salina USD 305 is the twelfth-largest school district in Kansas. Salina USD 305 is driven to be the best place to learn and work by embracing challenges, creating belonging, fostering pride and inspiring hope. The district offers personalized and safe learning environments with a vast array of opportunities to engage every student beyond the classroom. An early-learning center, a K-12 virtual school, eight elementary, two middle and two high schools serve students in pre-kindergarten through grade 12. For more information, visit www.usd305.com.