Richard & Jo Anne Vacca Scholarship

Drs Richard and Jo Anne Vacca

Drs. Richard and Jo Anne Vacca are professors emeriti of the College of Education, Health and Human Services at Kent State University and have devoted their careers to literacy education. They are co-authors of two well-known college textbooks for students who want to become teachers of reading and writing. Content Area Reading: Literacy and Learning Across the Curriculum is now a multi-edition text which celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2015; the tenth edition of Reading and Learning to Read will be published in 2017.

Dr. Jo Anne Vacca

Jo Anne, a former middle school language arts teacher, retired in 2002 after 22 years at Kent State, including 10 years as chair of the School of Teaching, Learning and Curriculum Studies in the College of Education, Health and Human Services. She also served as assistant to the university president and, for a decade, as a faculty representative on the Kent State University Foundation Board.

Dr. Richard Vacca

Richard, a former high school English teacher, retired in 2003 after 23 years at Kent State, where he served as director of the Reading and Writing Center and was chair of the Faculty Senate. Richard was past president of the International Reading Association, one of the largest professional education associations in the world with about 400,000 affiliated members.


The Need

The Vaccas realized that it is a struggle for graduate students to teach all day and attend classes in the evening, while often managing family responsibilities. They wanted to do something that would make an impact on the lives of these students. In 2001, the Vaccas created an endowment to help K-12 teachers in Northeast Ohio pursue their master's degrees at Kent State. The Vacca Fellowship for Teachers of Literacy provides summer tuition scholarships for practicing teachers enrolled in the reading specialization master's program. Financial assistance for teachers who are graduate students is important as they do not qualify for traditional types of scholarships.

The Degree

The master's degree in reading specialization develops attitudes, understandings and competencies that are essential for educators concerned with the improvement of literacy at all instructional levels. Students study the nature of the reading process, the interrelationships between literacy and language, literacy learning and teaching, the nature and needs of students with reading problems, reading as a vehicle for learning and enjoyment and the role of research in reading. The program meets all International Reading Association Standards for Classroom Professionals and Specialized Reading Professionals. State of Ohio Endorsement in Reading is attained as part of the core requirements of the program.

Awards

Four scholarships may be awarded:

  • We allow one scholarship for a doctoral student in literacy education per year.
  • We allow up to two scholarships for master's students in literacy education per year.
  • For the summer semester, we allow up to up to 4 credit hour award, thus allowing master's students to take the clinical practicum (a 4-credit hour course) on this scholarship. If you are not taking clinical practicum in the summer you may be awarded a 3-credit hour scholarship.

The scholarship is a one-time, nonrenewable award. Faculty associated with the Reading and Writing Center at Kent State University will select the fellowship recipients.

Eligibility Criteria

  1. Employed as a full-time teacher in Northeast Ohio.
  2. Admitted to the master's degree program in reading specialization in the College of Education, Health and Human Services at Kent State University or enrolled in the doctoral programs with a specialization in literacy in the College of Education, Health and Human Services at Kent State University.

Application Procedures

For Spring Awards: The application deadline is November 14th, by 4:00 pm. Notification will be in early January. Please send materials to Sherry Ernsberger (sernsber@kent.edu) with the subject line Vacca Scholarship.

For the Summer Award: The application deadline is the first Friday in March by 4:00 pm. Please send materials to Sherry Ernsberger (sernsber@kent.edu) with the subject line Vacca Scholarship.

Application

Download the scholarship application here (pdf) and return it to Sherry Ernsberger, Kent State University, Reading & Writing Center, 402 White Hall, Kent, OH 44242.


Scholarship Recipients

Jessica Hrubik  -  2017
Gina Kitchen  -  2016
Holly Faeth  -  2016
Joelle Carnes  -  2015
Elizabeth Herchek  -  2014
Jennifer Bailey  -  2014
Jessica Hairston  -  2013
Lauren Fenimore  -  2012
Melissa Kerst  -  2011
Cynthia Chanou  -  2010
Kim Hauge  -  2009
Linda Davenport  -  2008
Erica Haire  -  2008

Clotea Mack  -  2007
Christine Fogel  -  2007
Tamara Cabrera-Perrine  -  2007
Martha Booth  -  2007
Jacqueline Iafigliola  -  2006
Jennie Green  -  2006
Lindsay Bolender  -  2006
Mary Anne Tyger  -  2005
Suzanne Stronz  -  2005
Heather Randall  -  2004
Jessica Morris  -  2003
Julie Friedauer  -  2003
Amy Taylor  -  2002