PULLMAN, Wash. — Seattle businessman, philanthropist and Washington State University Regent Ken Alhadeff’s offer of scholarship support has resulted in record levels of minority recruitment to the Washington State University College of Education for Fall 1998.
Alhadeff offered scholarship support to all students who attended the spring 1998 Future Teachers of Color (FTOC) recruitment event. Milton Lang, director of student recruitment for WSU’s College of Education, reported that 11 minority students, or about 30 percent of the eligible students who attended the event, have enrolled at WSU.
Two community college students and 35 high school seniors at the event were eligible for enrollment this year. Another approximately 30 high school juniors at the event may enroll in the future, and seven of the high school seniors who chose to attend a community college first have promised to come to WSU in two years.
“The results of that event are fantastic,” Lang said. “Thirty percent of the eligible students have chosen this university.”
Steve Nakata, interim director of the WSU Office of Multicultural Student Services, shared Lang’s assessment. “The results of that program, and Ken Alhadeff’s promise of scholarship help, are outstanding. None of our programs have ever resulted in that high of an enrollment percentage.”
Lang credited a scholarship offer made at the FTOC event with the successful recruiting of more than half of the eligible students.
Alhadeff pledged the largest individual gift for minority teacher education ever offered in the Pacific Northwest. He guaranteed scholarship support totaling approximately $500,000 to the students who participated in the spring recruitment event at the WSU campus at Pullman.
Alhadeff made the pledge to the students at the Feb. 28 banquet where he was the keynote speaker. To the audience of community college, high school and WSU students interested in becoming classroom teachers, Alhadeff pledged support that could total $6,000 per student. He pledged gifts of $500 to students enrolling as WSU freshmen pursuing degrees in education, $1,000 to students admitted to the WSU College of Education (typically in the junior year), $2,000 to seniors enrolled in the WSU teacher preparation program and a total of $2,500 to each WSU graduate upon completion of their student teaching period. Alhadeff also offered a total of $2,000 for students who earn a teaching certificate from any other university. The pledge applies only to the students in attendance at the February FTOC event.
Alhadeff has supported the innovative program in minority student recruitment since FTOC began in 1994.
“He has been behind us since Day One,” Lang said. “He sponsored our first Seattle area FTOC event in 1994, and his support has just escalated ever since.”
“I had no idea Ken was going to make this incredibly generous offer,” Lang continued. “This is a gift of love. Ken understands that we really need more minority teachers to serve as role models in our classrooms. He knows that would make the world a better place. He is really passionate about that.”
In the four previous years, from a total of 140 student participants in the spring FTOC events, 22 minority students chose to enroll at WSU, Lang said.