Two University of Bridgeport students in the Educational Leadership Ed.D. Hybrid Program have written successful grant proposals as part of their Grant Writing, Procurement, and Policy 2021 Summer Course.
The course, EDLD 805DL, “Grant Writing, Policy, and Procurement,” is taught by Assistant Professor of Education Patricia Smedley Buxton, Ed.D. “The mission of UB includes applicable skills learned in the classroom and then applied in the real world,” says Buxton. Buxton herself writes grants for non-profits and teaches students to write winning grant proposals. “Part of what an educational leader needs to do is procure the resources for their school,” she continues.
One project was titled Cooperative Games for SEL Students, and will benefit middle school students in Oxford, Connecticut. It was developed by doctoral student Steven Tsaprazis and funded in full by the Connecticut Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance mini-grant. The second project was developed by doctoral student Natalie Odierna and is titled Wi-Fi on the Go. It benefits Bridgeport high school students attending the Better Chance Program at Staples High School in Westport, Connecticut, and was funded in part by the Kajeet Digital Inclusion grant.
Before taking Grant Writing with Dr. Buxton, I knew very little about it and its purpose within the education field,” says Odierna, a social studies teacher at Staples High School. “However, with Dr. Buxton’s scholarly, patient, and supportive teaching style, grant writing came alive for me as something powerful and transformative in helping support students, teachers, administrators, and the educational system itself.”
Odierna’s grant is directed towards Bridgeport students who attend her school and return to their homes at night, enabling them to get Internet access with a mobile hotspot called the SmartBus. This school bus is wired with Wi-Fi and can be driven to neighborhoods that lack Wi-Fi or deal with Internet connectivity issues. “Through my research, I focused on equitable access to technology for all students,” says Odierna. “Every student has the right to learn, even in the landscape of an unpredictable pandemic.”
The on-campus Educational Leadership Doctoral Program at UB was the first of its kind in Connecticut and has been operating since 1979. Approved by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), the program is designed to enhance and improve the effectiveness of public and private organization leaders, school administrators, and researchers. Graduates and current students have held and currently hold significant positions in statewide school systems, for-profit, non-profit institutions, colleges, and universities. “We started with four students,Ω and we now have 100 in the hybrid education program,” says Buxton. “They come to campus twice in the summer and spend the rest of the time online.”
Through its expert faculty and innovative courses, UB continues to inspire and lead the next generation of academic trailblazers. “Helping teachers and administrators secure the resources necessary to support the vision, mission, and goals of their schools in turn helps the community,” says Buxton. The skills learned in the Educational Leadership EdD Hybrid Program are designed to do just that.