Board of Regents Grant to Promote Diversity, Quality Assurance Training

Leah Petersen BoR Grant 2021 (Misty Leigh McElroy/Nicholls State University) 4/20/21

THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls State University will advance and enhance teacher training thanks to a grant from the Louisiana Board of Regents.

Dr. Leah Peterson, assistant professor of teacher education, received $30,000 to use for quality assurance and diversity initiatives in the Department of Teacher Education.

The grant money will hire consultants to guide training with each initiative. Dr. Peterson’s proposal was the top-rated proposal under the board’s enhancement funding guidelines.

The consultants will advise the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences for a year. But the benefits, Dr. Peterson said, will last long after the grant funding ends.

Objectives for the consultants include:

  • Enhanced recruiting for more diverse faculty and teaching candidates
  • Increased support for program evaluation, and diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Extra focus on the impacts teacher preparation programs have on K-12 learning.

“The consultants will give us a fresh, objective perspective with expertise in these areas,” Dr. Peterson said.

The new programs will impact over 600 teaching candidates. That benefit will then pass on to the students those future teachers educate after they graduate.

“Our graduates will enter the workforce with better training, increased knowledge and improved professional dispositions,” she said. “We will also share the findings from this project with other departments and universities.”

The grant will also fund professional development for Nicholls faculty. Dr. Peterson said the training will also focus on diversity and program evaluation methods.

“An investment in our state’s education is an investment in Louisiana’s future, plain and simple,” Dr. Peterson said. “Education delivered by passionate, empathetic and skilled teachers is one of the most fundamental ways to have a positive impact and institute change.”

Dr. Peterson noted that no faculty will receive money from the grant.

“This shows how important this work is,” she said. “Our payment will be better serving our candidates and local school districts.”

For more information on Nicholls Teacher Education, visit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, April 27, 2021

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