The Impact of Annual Giving: A Departmental Look

February 22, 2017

A departmental look at where your gifts add up—and how they could grow our future

The College of Education is fortunate to have thousands of alumni and friends who make financial contributions to the college, many on an annual basis. We are thankful for every gift because, no matter how big or small, they each add up to support day-to-day research, teaching and learning opportunities in extraordinary ways.

Annual gifts in particular are growing since the university discontinued charging membership dues for the MSU Alumni Association in favor of encouraging donations to the parts of MSU you love the most. So how do those donations go to work in our college? Annual funds enable the college to:

  1. Respond to emerging needs
  2. Enrich the student experience
  3. Expand resources for renowned faculty work

We asked the four department chairs in the College of Education how the collective power of donors helps them to expand their impact—and what they could do with more.

Department of Kinesiology

Annual and expendable donations within the Department of Kinesiology can be felt on a daily and annual basis, says Chair Alan L. Smith. Current funding enables the department to provide fellowship support or assistantships to students, cover travel to meetings and conferences for faculty as well as students, and purchase new and specialized lab equipment.

The focus is on expanding support for students and opportunities for collaboration within the university and beyond. Funding has been used, for example, to help recognize outstanding students at an annual awards luncheon and to support the Summer Coaches’ School, first offered in 2015. This program invites sport coaches and leaders from across the country to build their skills and knowledge during a multi-day, immersive experience. This not only benefits the development of coaches, but the quality of sport experiences provided to young athletes, Smith said.

Smith says Kinesiology could also benefit from larger scale enhancements to its building (see page 20), and faculty.

“We hope to further develop the spaces in IM Circle to be state-of-the-art for teaching and research,” said Smith. “If greater funding became available, we would firstly like to endow faculty positions, and secondly revitalize the old pool space in the building to house learning spaces, community/recreation spaces, labs and offices.”

Contact Dr. Smith:

Department of Teacher Education

With an eye toward the future, many of the gifts to the Department of Teacher Education are centered on strengthening the student experience, says Chair Margaret Crocco.

“We benefit from scholarship money … which helps to defray the fifth-year teaching internship expenses for our students, study abroad trips and general support for our students in years three and four of their undergraduate preparation,” she said.

The department also has its sights set on growing or creating new funds earmarked for elevating how MSU addresses key challenges in the field. Examples include assessment, early childhood and literacy and mathematics education, civic education and media literacy.

Annual gifts to such funds help cover expenses such as individual research projects by department faculty and seminars for working educators.

The establishment of endowed faculty chairs, in particular, could have a longer lasting influence by attracting leading researchers to campus and raising the university’s potential impact in these critical areas of study.

Contact Dr. Crocco:

Department of Educational Administration

The Department of Educational Administration is grateful to its donors who have made unique opportunities possible for students, including scholarships and annual colloquia and symposia featuring national speakers on current topics. Annual gifts are also directed to cover the costs of student experiences that enrich their learning, such as travel to special forums and workshops.

More funding could expand this support to additional faculty and students who collaborate in research and learning. Unlike their doctoral student peers, master’s students in particular lack external resources to attend conferences, said Chair Marilyn Amey.

“Those experiences are usually quite key to job placements, especially for master’s students in student affairs,” she said. “Given that opportunities for students continue to expand and our ability to support them is limited, more money for this could always be valuable.”

Contact Dr. Amey:

Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education

Annual gifts to the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education (CEPSE) are funneled to cover expenses for students beyond coursework: professional development in the field, travel and research endeavors.

Gifts from donors have been especially helpful to support future special education teachers during the fifth-year internship.

“This is a costly extra year for students, but one that really equips them to hit the ground running when they start their career,” said CEPSE Chair Richard Prawat.

Doctoral students pursuing their Ph.D. through the hybrid program in Educational Psychology and Educational Technology (EPET) could also benefit from additional private support, Prawat said. This is because their status, attending classes substantially online, does not qualify them for many forms of financial support available to other doctoral students.

Contact Dr. Prawat:

How to give

Contact the Development Office:

(517) 432-1983

620 Farm Lane, Room 513, East Lansing, MI 48824-1983