LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) _ A University of Wyoming Board of Trustees initiative to boost the college into national prominence in teacher preparation continues to advance.

Trustees last week accepted a $500,000 grant from the Daniels Fund private foundation to plan the first phase of the College of Education effort.

The board also appointed a group to develop that plan. It includes five trustees and the new College of Education dean, Ray Reutzel.

Improving UW’s College of Education is also a priority for the Legislature’s Joint Education Committee.

Reutzel tells KUWR in Laramie ( ) that the roughly total $14 million needed for the effort will be provided through public-private partnership.

“If we’re able to put together a good plan for the Daniels Fund, and they are willing to put the multiple millions of dollars that we are going to ask for on the table, then my understanding would be that the Joint Education Committee would be recommending matching funding from the Legislature so that we could reach the number of dollars necessary to take this initiative where it needs to go,” Reutzel said.

Reutzel said he will work with national education experts to develop the plan and budget. But improving the College of Education’s programs is just step one, he said.

“If we get really, really great programs that are nationally-recognized, then the next step is to put those really nationally-recognized programs in a beautiful facility, which we don’t currently have,” Reutzel said. “You don’t want to put a Ferrari engine in a Yugo body. If we build a Ferrari engine for the College’s programs, then we want to have a Ferrari body, too.”

Reutzel said the specifics of the initiative will take shape in the months and years ahead.

The planning group will submit a more developed plan and funding request to the Daniels Fund in October.