FPU celebrates grants, national nursing accreditation

By wayne.steffen on October 29, 2010 @ 8:13am

Cake and balloons created a festive atmosphere as dozens of faculty, staff and students gathered at10:00 a.m. Friday, October 29, 2010, in Shehadey Dining Hall in Steinert Campus Center. Provost Herma Williams acted as master of ceremonies. Other FPU speakers were Karen Cianci, dean of the School of Natural Sciences; Linda Pryce-Sheehan, registrar; Chris Brownell, math faculty; Dave Youngs, mathematics education program director; and Steve Pauls, chemistry faculty. 

Guest speakers included Karen Humphrey, executive director, California Post-Secondary Education Commission )and former Fresno mayor) and Robert Urtecho, dean of science, engineering and math, College of the Sequoias.

Title V Grant FPU will receive $3.75 million over five years in partnership with the College of the Sequoias (COS) in Visalia. The grant is to help Hispanic and other at-risk students at COS and FPU succeed in the STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and enable COS students to move seamlessly from an A.A. program through their B.S. degrees at Fresno Pacific University. Cianci was a leader in the application process, and Brownell will handle the academic responsibilities for FPU. 

ITQ Grant This grant unites Tulare City School District, K-12 Alliance and Fresno Pacific University to help teachers teach and students learn about science and language arts. The California Post-Secondary Education Commission has approved for $282,839 for one year for BLASTT (Bringing Language Arts and Sciences Together in Tulare). BLASTT is a program for 36 Tulare teachers in grades three-six. The grant could be funded up to four years, bringing the total to $958,000. Pauls is grant director and Youngs is co-director.

Nursing accreditation FPU's RN-BSN degree completion program has received national accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The accreditation is for five years, the maximum awarded. The FPU program began in January 2009 and the first cohort of students completed its studies in August 2010. Pryce-Sheehan put together the application.

Also welcomed at the event were several people involved in the ITQ grant: Steve Price is the grant evaluator from Educational Resource Consultants and Rita Starnes is K-12 Alliance/WestEd regional director, Central Valley. Representing Tulare City School District were Sue Ann Hillman, director of curriculum and instruction; and Terry Sayre and Michelle French, TCSD educators who will co-direct at the district level.