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Research and Survey Opportunity for Current Candidates for Teacher Licensure

Beautiful young teacher sitting at table in classroomAACTE has partnered with graduate students from the George Washington University and the Learning Policy Institute to distribute a survey intended for current candidates for teacher licensure. Specifically, they are seeking candidates of programs that have a teacher residency, student teaching, or Grow Your Own component. Candidates of diverse racial and socioeconomic backgrounds, as well as candidates for special education bilingual education, are highly encouraged to participate. This survey will aid research on the ways in which AmeriCorps grants could be utilized to deploy highly prepared teachers to high-need schools.

Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States was facing crisis-level teacher shortages that had still not fully recovered from the 2008 recession. These impacts have not been felt equally across communities — in fact, schools with high enrollment of students of color have less access to certified teachers when compared to their White peers. Further, many rural communities have struggled to recruit and retain highly trained teachers, while schools across the country have faced shortages in critical areas like special education. While a singular factor cannot entirely explain these trends, it is widely understood that student loan debt creates a significant barrier to entry into the teaching profession.

Since the 1990s, AmeriCorps has partnered with non-governmental organizations to deploy teachers to high-need areas, such as rural and high-poverty schools. Participants of AmeriCorps partner programs benefit from an annual education award, equivalent to the maximum Pell grant, for up to two years. Currently, AmeriCorps does not partner with any comprehensive educator preparation programs at institutions of higher education. If successful, this research could begin the process of having comprehensive educator preparation programs apply to become AmeriCorps partners, putting significant grant aid in teacher’s pockets and incentivizing the best-trained teachers to teach in the schools that need it most.

If you are involved in a teacher preparation program that includes a teacher residency partnership, we ask that you help distribute this survey to your networks.

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