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New Mexico State University

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NMSU Foundation receives grant for pilot program

The Daniels Fund has awarded $40,000 to the New Mexico State University Foundation for the Southwest Institute for Early Childhood Studies. The funds will enable the development of a comprehensive distance education approach to the professional training of early childhood educators.


"Accessible and affordable professional development is urgently needed in New Mexico," said Candace Kaye, the Institute's program director. "These funds will allow the Institute to focus on developing a premium model distance learning program to improve the quality of early childhood education for all of New Mexico's children."

The Daniels Fund operates the Daniels Fund Scholarship Program and the Daniels Fund Grants Program in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. The Fund was established in 1997 by Bill Daniels, a pioneer in cable television known for his kindness and generosity for those in need.

The goal of the NMSU program is to develop a premium, comprehensive effort in Doņa Ana County in 2008-09 that will improve the quality of education for children through the professional development of early childhood educators and will enroll and support with advising at least 60 Doņa Ana early childhood educators in distance education courses through the Southwest Institute for Early Childhood Studies.

The first year of the pilot program will be in Doņa Ana County in order to incorporate both the best location for NMSU and the best exposure to early childhood educators. This will allow the institute to focus on developing a premium model program that can be fully evaluated and finely honed with the vision of extending it to additional New Mexico counties.

"We know funding is limited and we are pleased that the Daniels Fund chose this very important program to fund," said Pat Conn, assistant dean for advancement at NMSU's College of Education. "Our distance education program is going to have a tremendous and positive impact in our community and across the state."