A bilingual teaching training program will not be getting the funding they were hoping for. Scholarship money awarded to students in the Project BOW Program at Midwestern State University will not be possible this coming year.
Project BOW Student Gladys Moreno said losing her scholarship will be difficult for her. "It's going to hurt us a lot more, for those students who rely on that money. I use that money for my books, transportation and tuition."
Moreno has one year left before graduating from the Project BOW Program. After losing her scholarship money she's really concerned how she will get through her last year.
Project BOW faculty is also concerned not only for Gladys, but for all their students. Linda Prieto, the only bilingual faculty member teaching for Project BOW at MSU, said, "It's hard because most of our students happen to be low income students. If we don't have the scholarships there to support services, how are we going to be more students."
Prieto said it's really hitting the program hard. Not getting the funding from the federal grant again, and at the same time not getting the university to take the program over.
"It'd be great if the university would fund it and institutionalize it and have it be an on-going permanent program." Prieto added, "We are also trying to see if we cant get that grant from other entities."
Project BOW said MSU does support the program and will keep offering it on campus, but will not put up the money to match the funding that came from the grant.
Project BOW knows the need is still out there. "The number of emerging English language learners is only going to continue to grow here in Wichita Falls." Prieto added, "The need for more bilingual certified teachers is going to continue to grow. If we are not continuing to certify the teachers here locally, the district will also be at a loss."
Project BOW is offered to undergrad and graduate students at MSU. The program prepares and molds future educators to be bilingual, biliteracy and bicultural.