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WKU Hosts First Teacher Apprenticeship Summit

On June 22, 2023, over 120 individuals from Kentucky school districts, community colleges, universities, and government agencies gathered on WKU’s campus to discuss teacher apprentice programs and how they can be implemented to create a pipeline of educators returning to teach in their home districts. 

The Summit started with opening remarks from Kentucky Lieutenant Governor Jacqueline Coleman, WKU President Timothy C. Caboni, and CEBS Dean Corinne Murphy. Coleman discussed the importance of apprentice programs to address the teacher shortage because it allows students to “learn and earn at the same time.” Caboni emphasized the prominence of teachers to WKU, as the university started as a Normal School in 1906. Murphy highlighted how vital it is to show high school students the possibility of a career in education as a viable one and one with upward mobility.

So far, WKU has partnered with Nelson and Grayson counties to create a program that allows high school students to work towards an education degree as soon as their freshman year, graduate early, and get a job in their home school district in as little as two years from their high school graduation date. It also features extra support and mentorship. Once the student graduates high school and enrolls at WKU, they will be a paid employee. One of the goals of the Summit is to implement more apprentice programs in other school districts.

Speakers from WKU, the Kentucky Department of Education, the Department of Workforce Development, Nelson County Schools, and Grayson County Schools talked about their experience with the current apprenticeships and what those considering building their own programs need to know.

Earlier this year, WKU and Nelson County partnered to create Kentucky’s first Teacher Apprenticeship program.

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