Canisius to Develop, Grow Teacher Pipeline with Cullen Grant

July 8, 2024
canisius education programs

Buffalo, NY –The Canisius University School of Education and Human Services (SEHS) is the recipient of a generous one year grant from The Cullen Foundation of Western New York Inc. to further develop and grow a community-driven teacher pipeline.  Canisius will use the funding to expand its partnerships with Tapestry Charter School and Buffalo Academy of Science (BuffSci) and introduce the teaching profession as an attainable and fulfilling career path for high school students.     

“We are sincerely appreciative of the Cullen Foundation’s support towards this Grow Your Own Teacher Program,” says Nancy Wallace, PhD, dean of the School of Education and Human Services.  “By cultivating a diverse cohort of aspiring educators and transitioning them into a teacher preparation program, Canisius can help ensure that future educators are not only well-prepared academically but deeply committed to serving the next generation of students.” 

Funding from the Cullen Foundation supports two, three-credit college courses, developed by Canisius University faculty for high school juniors and seniors at Tapestry Charter and BuffSci:  

Exploring the Teaching Profession (EDU 100) will introduce students to the study of education and teaching, with opportunities for participants to examine and evaluate this as a career choice.  The course connects seminar session topics with actual classroom practice.  Topics include exemplars of good teaching, diverse needs of students, curriculum, culture, and professional and ethical expectations.  

Human Growth & Development – Birth through Childhood (EDE 100) introduces students to multiple dimensions of development including influence of family, culture and society.  The course also examines physical, cognitive, emotional and behavioral theories and emphasizes education’s role in promoting wellness.  

In addition to the coursework, the funding supports on-site internships in which high school students are placed with a mentor-teacher in the lower or middle schools (K-8), as well as attendance at the Careers in Education Conference in October 2024.  High school students will also engage in professional development and outreach related to the teaching profession as participants in – and collaborators with – Canisius University’s Teacher Education (TED) Club; attend an orientation of academic support at Canisius and participate in campus tours.  

Moreover, the Cullen grant makes funding available for select 9th and 10th grade students from the Buffalo Academy of Science who express an interest in the teaching profession. These students will be mentored by veteran educators at BuffSci and enrolled in hands-on workshops that teach lesson planning and classroom management.  To create a holistic learning experience, students will participate in an after-school club that focuses on soft skills development and introduces them to various aspects of the teaching profession.  

“Having the Buffalo Academy of Science relocate adjacent to our campus presents a remarkable opportunity for Canisius University to deepen its partnership with the school,” adds Elizabeth Turner ’04, MSEd ’08, director of educational partnerships.  “The proximity allows us to seamlessly integrate learning opportunities for students from the university and the high school, and create an environment for Canisius teacher candidates to gain valuable practical skills while making meaningful contributions to the educational growth and development of BuffSci students.” 

The Cullen Foundation of Western New York Inc. serves the residents of Erie County by providing funding and support that significantly enhances the education of students in grades pre-K through 12 and advances theatre and the performing arts.  It was established by John S. “Jack” Cullen II, the late founder and head of Multisorb Technologies.  His estate provided the funding for the foundation.  

Canisius was founded in 1870 in Buffalo, NY, and is one of 27 Jesuit colleges and universities in the U.S. Consistently ranked among the top institutions in the Northeast, Canisius offers undergraduate, graduate and pre-professional programs distinguished by close student-faculty collaboration, mentoring and an emphasis on ethical, purpose-driven leadership.