Skip Navigation

OU's Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education Raises Funds for Scholarships/Debt Forgiveness Program

OU Public Affairs WebsiteOU homepagePublic Affairs homepage
Skip Side Navigation

OU's Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education Raises Funds for Scholarships/Debt Forgiveness Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

arm/6-23-14

Contact: OU Public Affairs, (405) 325-1701

NORMAN – University of Oklahoma President David L. Boren announced today that the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education has raised $3.1 million thus far in its $10 million fundraising drive for scholarships, the focal point of which is a Debt Forgiveness Program for new teachers. 

The college’s new Debt Forgiveness Program will help address the challenge facing half of OU’s teaching graduates, who leave with as much as $21,000 in education loan debt.  The average starting teacher’s salary in Oklahoma is $31,000, which means that some graduates never catch up with their debt and later leave the teaching profession for more lucrative fields.

Under the program, education graduates who enter such high-need areas as science, mathematics, world languages, special education or early childhood education can apply for up to $5,000 of debt forgiveness each year for four years, capping at $20,000.

“This innovative new initiative for ‘debt-free teachers’ will help keep talented newly graduated teachers in our state,” Boren said.

Recipients are asked to stay in the teaching profession for a minimum of four years, which is an important statistic threshold, said Education Dean Gregg Garn. Research shows that teachers who remain in the field beyond three years have a much greater chance of becoming lifelong education professionals. 

The idea for the effort came when Garn learned a good friend in the medical profession was leaving Oklahoma to take a job at an out-of-state rural Indian Health Services clinic that offered a similar debt forgiveness program.

“It really got me thinking about how we might adapt this to get teachers to stay in Oklahoma,” Garn said, explaining that Oklahoma often loses its best young educators to other states paying more competitive salaries. Also, OU students who might have a vocation for teaching often enter other degree programs due to fears about debt and earning potential.

The program may be the first of its kind among the nation’s colleges of education, Garn said.  The campaign for the Debt Forgiveness Program already is attracting several lead gifts. 

Donors are encouraged by the fact that their monies will be invested in someone who has already graduated college and is committed to helping Oklahoma schoolchildren in some of our state’s greatest areas of need.

“Everyone we have talked to has said, ‘This is a great idea,’ Garn said. “We can really fill some important workforce development needs in this state.”

Recent News

OU Student Named Goldwater Scholar

NORMAN – University of Oklahoma honors student Matthew Peters has been named a 2018 Goldwater Scholar, placing OU in the top ranks of universities nationally with 53 Goldwater Scholars since the competition began in 1991. The prestigious scholarships are awarded on the basis of potential and intent to pursue research careers in mathematics, the natural sciences or engineering. Read more

OU to Hire Additional Clinical Psychologist

NORMAN—University of Oklahoma President David L. Boren announced Friday that adequate funding would be allocated to hire an additional psychologist at the University Counseling Center in order to further support mental health services for students and alleviate wait times. Read more

OU Radar Team Developing New Technologies for U.S. Navy Next-Generation Radar Systems

NORMAN –A University of Oklahoma Advanced Radar Research Center team is developing new antenna and related technologies for U.S. Navy next-generation radar systems with a two-year, $3.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense, Office of Naval Research. The ARRC research and development program under way is designed to improve the agility and multi-functionality of radio frequency sensors and communication systems, while enabling future implementation on a variety of surfaces and platforms. Read more

OU Faculty Member Appointed Chair of International Astronomical Union Working Group

NORMAN –A University of Oklahoma professor, Steven Gullberg, has been appointed world chair for archeoastronomy by the International Astronomical Union. As chair, Gullberg will work with 31 nations to further the research and global advancement of archeoastronomy and astronomy in culture. Read more

OU Math Professors to Research Active Learning in Undergraduate Math Education

NORMAN –A University of Oklahoma mathematics professor, Milos Savic, has received a two-year, $93,298 grant from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities to help undergraduate students pursuing science, technology, engineering and mathematics degrees succeed in introductory math courses. Savic and team will use the grant to improve and assess a recently-developed active learning pre-calculus course taught to 1,000 OU students each year.  Read more

News Archives

2017  | 2016  | 2015  | 2014  |  2013  

April 2018


For requests for past releases, please contact OU Public Affairs at (405) 325-1701 or publicaffairs@ou.edu.