The National University System seal. Courtesy National University
The National University System seal. Courtesy National University

San Diego-based National University on Tuesday announced the launch of the $30 million Sanford Education Collaborative, a nine-school youth-teaching partnership.

The goal of the collaborative is to bring two programs — Sanford Harmony, which strengthens social and emotional development in the youngest students, and Sanford Inspire, which helps teachers create better classroom experiences — to 2,000 schools.

“In order to be successful adults, young people need to learn at an early age how to communicate, collaborate and get along with each other,” said philanthropist and entrepreneur T. Denny Sanford of the Sanford Harmony program. “This not only benefits them, but our society at large.”

Danny Sanford arrives for the dedication of the Sanford Education Center. Photo by Chris Jennewein
Danny Sanford arrives for the dedication of the Sanford Education Center in 2014. Photo by Chris Jennewein

Other colleges involved in the collaborative are the City University of Seattle, Long Island University, Nova Southeastern University in Florida, the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University, the University of Central Florida, the University of Maine and Touro College of New York.

Universities were chosen because of their demonstrated effective clinical preparation, regional representation and institutional diversity, organizers of the collaborative said.

The two programs are expected to serve up to 50,000 teachers and reach more than 650,000 pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade students by the fifth year of operation.

Michael Cunningham, president of National University and chancellor of the National University System, said the participating universities “have demonstrated their excellence in teacher preparation and we are excited to be collaborating with them in our shared mission of helping children build the foundation for a healthier and stronger society.”

New York University’s Center for Research on Higher Education Outcomes, though not a collaborative member, will provide independent research assessment for Sanford Inspire.

— City News Service

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.