April 23, 2002
CONTACT: Ward Mullens
Nancy Mida, 734-484-3237
Aaron Schoenherr, 313-310-8909



YPSILANTI - Eastern Michigan University has received a $75,000 grant from the SBC Foundation (the charitable giving arm of SBC Ameritech) that will initiate the New Teacher Resources Network, a partnership to improve the quality of teaching by supporting new teachers.

Through the use of the pioneering, on-line resources network, beginning teachers in Michigan will have access to high-quality instructional information. The grant will impact 2,000 student teachers and new teachers during the first year of the program at EMU, and more than 10,000 in conjunction with a state-wide, three-year grant program now in place with the Consortium for Outstanding Achievement in Teaching with Technology (COATT).

The partnership will provide support, training and mentoring by experts; increase capacity in the integration of technology in a projected 500 classrooms and 60 school districts; and enhance communication between new teachers to reduce the growing problem of “new teacher drop-out.”
“We are extremely pleased to work with SBC in this exciting initiative to improve the quality of teachers for schools. We are deeply appreciative of the financial support that will permit things to happen that wouldn't happen without invaluable, business/education partnerships,” said Dr. Jerry Robbins, dean of EMU's College of Education.

“The quality of education in Michigan is a vitally important issue for us at SBC,” said Gail Torreano, president, SBC Ameritech Michigan. “EMU has been training some of the finest educators in the state and we are pleased to help continue that tradition.”

“The network will connect faculty, student and beginning teachers, student teaching supervisors, instructional technologists, experienced teachers, and pilot school districts. Beginning teachers in the proposed program will have the support they need to practice high-quality, learner-centered teaching that actively integrates technology, and serve as role models to others in their schools in technology integration,” said Dr. Ellen Hoffman, assistant professor of teacher education at EMU.

The partnership brings together the technology expertise of SBC Ameritech, Michigan’s leading telecommunications provider, Eastern Michigan University, and participating schools in southeastern Michigan.

EMU’s College of Education is well positioned to launch the New Teacher Resources Network. The college is nationally known for its work in teacher education, and for the past decade, was named national leader in the production of education professionals by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE). The largest, oldest college at EMU, it educates one-fifth of all EMU students today and more new teachers than any other university in Michigan.

College of Education alumni nation-wide are viewed as leaders in their profession, and include a record number of the prominent Milkin Teacher of the Year awards (to date, EMU has had 22 winners).

Several national studies have identified major issues in preparing and sustaining new teachers who are trained to use technology to enhance student achievement. Identified needs for teacher preparation programs include integration of technology throughout student teaching and continued support for new teachers as they begin their initial work in school classrooms.

Eastern Michigan University ( is a four-year, comprehensive metropolitan university committed to the needs of its students and communities through teaching, research and service. EMU offers more than 200 programs in the arts, sciences and professions through traditional classroom settings, on-site continuing education classes and on-line courses.

EMU is the fifth largest university in Michigan, serving 24,500 students from around the world, and offers undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate programs.

SBC Communications Inc. ( is one of the world’s leading data, voice and Internet services providers. Through its world-class network and its subsidiaries’ trusted brands – SBC Southwestern Bell, SBC Ameritech, SBC Pacific Bell, SBC Nevada Bell, SBC SNET and Sterling Commerce – SBC companies provide a full range of voice, data, networking and e-business services, as well as directory advertising and publishing. A Fortune 15 company, America’s leading provider of high-speed DSL Internet Access services, and one of the nation’s leading Internet Service Providers, SBC companies currently serve nearly 60 million access lines nationwide. In addition, SBC owns 60 percent of America’s second largest wireless company -- Cingular Wireless -- which serves more than 21 million wireless customers. Internationally, SBC has telecommunications investments in 28 countries.