About the Grant

The purpose of this grant is to provide training for financial sustainability, business planning and fund development, as well as professional development to staff. The task of the 2009 joint conference was to identify and define the needs of each school, to provide assistance for development and writing of a business plan, and for school improvement and training through a staff development plan.

The significance of this Murdock Capacity Building Grant is to boost capacity, assisting each school to become more stable and better positioned to grow and succeed. The goal is for all to become more competent in financial management and teaching, to see financial indicators and student performance rise while teachers are learning to teach other teachers. Ongoing assessment and evaluation of the project will take place with appropriate revisions and improvement.

The grant provides for one conference in the education track (year 1), annual site visits and 4 semesters of on-line professional development (years 2 and 3). The business track will provide three annual conferences on the NNU campus with continued consultations, online mentoring, and a site visit during the second year.

On January 8-10, 2009 54 educators from the 10 participating K-12 Christian schools in the Northwest met at Northwest Nazarene University in the Helstrom Business Center.  Costs were covered for 6 participants from each school to attend the concurrent conferences.  A representative of ACSI NW also attended.

January 7-9, 2010 brought 30 business participants to campus for fund raising, metrics, international student recruiting and governance training.  

Financial Sustainability

It is expected that Christian schools will have Business Plans in place and be following good financial management and fund development practices upon completion of the project.

Each year a Financial Sustainability Capacity Building Conference will be hosted by the School of Business.  A needs assessment was completed, and vision, mission, and values statements were collected from each participating school.  Follow-up sessions to mentor and provide assistance are taking place via teleconference.  Blackboard assignments are ongoing which allow school business participants to respond and provide feedback to each other.

Year two included on-site mentoring and assistance with a visit by faculty to each school.  Progress will be assessed and evaluated.  On January 6, 7, and 8, 2011 the third Financial Sustainability Conference will take place.  

Staff Development

It is expected that Christian schools will have implemented School Improvement Plans to build capacity in the areas needed for accreditation by the end of the funding period.

The January 2009 Staff Development Capacity Building Conference focused on School Improvement Planning.  A plan was created to address the areas of need identified by each school through an educational needs assessment.  Courses were designed and prioritized to address these identified needs and train teacher leaders.  

Eleven courses have been developed for offering throughout the second and third grant year.  Murdock/NNU will provide these courses free of charge to all school participants.  Teachers will have the option of taking these courses for no credit, or for graduate level professional development credit, at their expense.  During each semester up to 10 stipends will be paid to each school for distribution.  The first ten teachers that register will receive this $60 stipend for attending the course.  

Site visits will follow each round of courses to mentor and evaluate course and project effectiveness.