Central College received $339,000 in grant funding from the Geisler Penquite Foundation that will go toward scholarships and an innovative learning lab for education students.
The learning lab will provide an innovative, flexible classroom learning environment representative of current and future practice with physical space, equipment (including various technologies), learning tools and instructional materials for teachers and students. It will help faculty provide instruction and support where students can engage with current instructional tools and resources.
“This is a dream come true for us. We are so grateful for our partnership with the Geisler Penquite Foundation and their support of our work in teacher preparation,” says Jen Diers, associate professor and chair of the education department. “It’s something that’s been in the back of our minds for years, and former Geisler Penquite Scholars from our program actually assisted in conducting the research to support this project. It will be such an asset to our instructors and students to have such an innovative space at our fingertips.”
Diers hopes the learning lab is up and running by fall semester.
“As a former Central education major, I am proud of how innovative Central has been in preparing preservice teachers to enter the teaching field,” says Sheri Roslien, who works at Pella High School and is a Geisler Penquite Foundation board member and education liaison. “Teachers in the field value Central’s student teachers and the experience they bring with them to their classrooms. The education learning lab is a great example of Central’s forward thinking.”
The Geisler Penquite Foundation was established in honor or John and Gertrude Geisler by their children and spouses, the late Harold and Mavis Geisler and Cecil Geisler Penquite and Loren Penquite. The foundation has provided support to Central for more than 40 years, giving nearly $2 million to fund scholarships, buildings and statues.
“The Geisler Penquite Foundation and Central College have a long and treasured history of collaboration,” says Dan Skokan, president of the Geisler Penquite Foundation. “We are pleased to continue our legacy commitment to benefit future generations and are confident that these funds will have a tremendous and lasting impact on the lives of students at Central College.”