Union graduate student receives over $80k in grants

Published on
July 07, 2016

ESU One Union College graduate student has acquired more than $80,000 in grants for the school system he serves in Johnson City, Tenn.

Jerry Higgins informed his Union College professors he had been awarded a $4,950 grant from Lowe’s and a $76,000 community grant from the East Tennessee Foundation. Higgins’ grant work totaled $83,950.

“I love teaching this class,” said Dr. Joy Ramsey, Associate Professor of Graduate Education at Union College. “In the spring term alone, the entire class garnered approximately $100,000 in grant funding for their classroom.”

Higgins is part of Dr. Ramsey’s grant writing course for Tennessee students enrolled in Union’s Educational Specialist Degree Program in Kingsport. Those programs are offered in addition to undergraduate and master’s programs in education on Union’s Barbourville campus. Dr. Jason Reeves, Dean of Union’s Educational Studies Unit, says students participate in the grant writing course as part of regular curriculum, but must focus their work on seeking grant opportunities to benefit their classrooms and schools.

“This is a great course that allows our students to find success that not only impacts their professional career, but allows for substantial impact for the students they serve,” Dr. Reeves said. “We appreciate the work taking place in our Educational Specialist program and look forward to more of these success stories.”

Earlier this summer, Dr. Reeves announced similar results from that grant course lead by Dr. Ramsey. In the ESU newsletter, released on May 1, Dr. Reeves said eight students had received a total of $51,530 in grants. The smallest award was $200, but two students each obtained grants totaling $15,000.

“We developed the Educational Specialist program to provide educators in the region with the skills they need to have lasting impact in their classrooms,” Dr. Reeves said. “When a teacher walks into the classroom with this kind of funding for their students and programs, you can be sure a great impact has occurred.”

The Educational Specialist program is a post-Master’s Degree offering Union provides to Tennessee-based educators in the region. The program is a blended program of online and onsite courses in Kingsport and Greeneville, Tenn. Students in the program study issues of teacher leadership including effective grant writing, understanding student motivation, creating inclusive learning environments and classroom decision making. The program is authorized by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

To learn more about this program, contact Union College’s Educational Studies Unit through email at gradstaff@unionky.edu