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Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education

What is FIPSE?

The Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) is a United States Department of Education grant that supports innovative projects that may respond to issues of national and global significance. FIPSE projects propose significant reforms and improvements in U.S. postsecondary education and have the potential to serve as national models for reform.

MassBay–UMass-Boston Haiti Initiative

The primary goal of the MassBay-UMass-Boston Haiti initiative is to pilot, in Massachusetts and in Haiti, a portable, replicable model of international service-learning that transforms learning into doing, relies on a multidisciplinary, sequential curriculum and, engenders life-long commitments to global civic engagement through educational opportunities.

MassBay and UMass-Boston is partnering with the Teaching College of the State University of Haiti (UEH) to enhance broad educational partnerships and cross-cultural cooperation between the two nations.

The three elements of this initiative breaks down cultural and language barriers, and ensures a wide spread workforce development program model that aims to significantly build capacity in early childhood development and respond to the significant demand for early childhood educators in the US and in Haiti:

Curriculum Development: Develop a two-week certificate program to train Haitian early childhood workers or teaching assistant.

Train-the-Trainer:Offer trainings for Haitian trainers on the early childhood curriculum to be fully integrated in the Teaching College’s curriculum and lead to an Early Childhood Development degree.

Service Learning: Haitian teaching assistants who earn their certificate will be paired with MassBay and UMass-Boston students’ service learning sites in Haiti.

The Impact of the Initiative

  • This project not only provides direct benefits to Haiti but to the U.S. as well by:
  • Providing hands-on crisis environment training in an actual crisis environment.
  • Benefiting the teacher training needs of U.S. students.
  • Addressing the U.S. problem of how to prepare educators to integrate cross-cultural cooperation with service delivery.
  • Preparing the teacher education entry-level workforce to assist in natural disasters.

Why focus on the education infrastructure in Haiti?

The Need

  • More than 57% of the general population in Haiti is illiterate, and 58% are between the ages 0-24.
  • Many teachers have only a high school education.
  • There is no training program specifically designed for preparing early childhood educators.
  • Teachers cannot get specialized early childhood education preparation through a university.
  • There are no national standards used for preschool/kindergarten and no government inspectors for such programs.
  • There are government feeding programs for children in schools, but they exist only sporadically.

The Earthquake

In January 2010, the Haitian education system was devastated by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake.

  • 4,000 (80%) of the schools were damaged or destroyed.
  • Of the 220,000 people who died, more than 400 were teachers or students.