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Innovative Tennessee Teacher Prep Program Aims to Prepare a New Breed of Educators

This article originally appeared on reimaginED, the policy and public affairs communications platform for Step Up For Students and is reprinted with permission.

The Early Learning Residency Program at Austin Peay University proved to be what recent graduate Malachi Johnson was looking for: a college education and a guaranteed job.

In her 20s, Heather Fracker set her sights on becoming a respiratory therapist. But as John Lennon observed, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.”

Fast forward two decades, and Fracker, a 43-year-old single mom to two middle schoolers, is pursuing a new dream. In two years, she will be a fully credentialed elementary school teacher thanks to an accelerated program that began in her hometown.

SVSU Sees Teacher Certification Enrollment Growth and Student Achievement

Saginaw Valley State University is seeing gains in the number of students pursuing teacher certification at the university for the fall 2022 semester.  In addition, SVSU’s award-winning residence halls are completely filled, as student interest in living on campus has rebounded.

SVSU has 146 students pursuing teacher certification, up from 126 last year, including 23 new students who are employees of Saginaw Public Schools and enrolled through a new partnership between SVSU and the school district. All of these students have previously completed bachelor’s degrees and want to become certified teachers.

College of Education Receives $9.6 million Federal Grant to Diversify Teaching Workforce

Mercer University’s Tift College of Education will partner with five local school districts on a three-year, $9.6 million U.S. Department of Education grant project aimed at strengthening the teacher pipeline in order to increase and diversify the teaching workforce.

The award is the largest federal grant in the history of the College of Education, which was formed by the merger of Tift College with Mercer in 1986 and is the largest private preparer of teachers and other educators in Georgia.

App State to Open Lab School at Elkin Elementary

University will be only UNC System institution to operate two lab school programs

Courtesy of Marie Freeman

Appalachian State University is partnering with Elkin City Schools to open the university’s second laboratory school aimed at enhancing student education, improving outcomes and providing high-quality teacher and principal training.

Under the plan — which was developed in collaboration with Elkin City Schools leaders and approved by the Elkin City Schools Board of Education on Dec. 13, 2021 — a lab school will open at Elkin Elementary School in August. The “school-within-a-school” model will serve approximately 100 students in second through fourth grades.

PVAMU Receives $300K Grant to Increase Educator Diversity in Texas

This article was originally published by Prairie View A&M University.

The teacher population in Texas does not reflect its student population. Beverly Sande, Ph.D., plans to change that statistic with $300,000 in funding from Texas Tech UniversityTexas Education Agency in collaboration with the University-School Partnerships for the Renewal of Educator Preparation (US PREP) National Center. The award will position Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU) to lead innovative efforts to increase diversity among the number of teachers.

PVAMU Welcomes Students with Aldine ISD, Impact Leadership Academy Partnership

Prairie View A&M University students, faculty and staff were on hand bright and early to help welcome students to the first day of school at Aldine ISD’s Impact Leadership Academy (ILA), the district’s first all-boys school. PVAMU is partnering with the ILA to cultivate learning experiences rooted in identity, leadership, community, and activism, all designed to address academic achievement and support social and emotional needs for young Black and Latino male students.

High-Quality Principal Learning Programs Associated with Improved Outcomes

As state leaders continue to weigh the best use of federal funding to improve education in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, a major new research report by the Learning Policy Institute and The Wallace Foundation underscores the importance of federal, state, and district policies that foster the availability and quality of principal preparation and professional development programs. The research finds that the preparation and professional development a school principal receives not only shapes their efficacy as a leader, but are also associated with positive outcomes for teachers and students.

Belmont University Announces New Partnership to Recruit and Train Math Teacher

Belmont University logoIn partnership with the Tennessee Department of Education and local public school districts, Belmont University announced a new initiative to recruit, train and support the next generation of mathematics teachers in the Midstate region.

The newly established Belmont University Math Teacher Residency will leverage partnerships with area school systems — including in several rural communities — to enable high-quality potential candidates to become mathematics teachers in secondary schools across Middle Tennessee. 

With $2 million in grant funding awarded to Belmont University through a competitive state grant process, the program will place each teacher candidate in an in-school “residency” — a paid educational position in a classroom where they will learn from and receive support from an experienced mentor teacher. Concurrently, candidates will enroll in high-quality, intensive online coursework at Belmont, deepening their content knowledge and learning effective pedagogical strategies. Belmont professors will work alongside candidates’ mentor teachers to ensure that instruction has immediate and meaningful classroom application.

Illinois State University Coordinates State Tutoring Initiative

This article originally appeared on Illinois State University website and is reprinted with permission.

Teacher working in the classroom with young students

Illinois State University (ISU) is coordinating the Illinois Tutoring Initiative in partnership with the Governor’s Office, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE), and the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB). The program will provide tutoring for approximately 8,500 Illinois students during the two-year period. This is one of four state initiatives aimed at learning renewal following COVID disruptions in schooling.

Six institutional partners across the state including ISU, Governor’s State University, Illinois Central College, Northern Illinois University, Southeastern Illinois Community College, and Southern Illinois University, manage tutoring in their area of the state.

How are You Using ESSER Funds to Address Educator Shortages in Your Community?

AACTE has heard about several educator preparation programs and local school districts partnering together to utilize Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Funds to help address the teacher shortage in their communities. Now, we want to hear from you. Please take a moment to complete this short survey to share how you are using ESSER funds to place teacher candidates in local classrooms to help with the transition back to in-person learning.

Texas State University Students Surprised with $20,000 Stipends

Texas State University students

Texas State University students participating in the Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) approved teacher residency program at Lockhart Independent School District (LSD) were surprised with $20,000 annual stipends awarded during a special event on Jan. 18 at Clear Fork Elementary.

The stipends, in the form of oversized checks, were presented to a cohort of 17 Texas State students who are embedded in Lockhart ISD for a full year, working with mentor teachers and engaging with students. The funds are meant to support the students financially while they are working in the residency program.

App State to open lab school at Elkin Elementary

This article originally appeared on the Appalachian Today website.

Appalachian State University is partnering with Elkin City Schools to open the university’s second laboratory school aimed at enhancing student education, improving outcomes,and providing high-quality teacher and principal training.

Under the plan — which was developed in collaboration with Elkin City Schools leaders and approved by the Elkin City Schools Board of Education on Dec. 13, 2021 — a lab school will open at Elkin Elementary School in August. The “school-within-a-school” model will serve approximately 100 students in second through fourth grades.

New Podcast Episode: Districts and Programs Collaborate in Commitment to Equity

Principal preparation programs serve two major consumers: the candidate’s that enter their programs and the districts that hire them. Therefore, it is essential to align program redesign efforts to district needs, which we have learned vary across the state. In episode four of AACTE’s new University Principal Preparation Initiative (UPPI) Podcast series chronicling the Wallace Foundation multi-year principal program redesign initiative, Franciso Edobedo, superintendent of the Chula Vista Elementary School District (CVESD), located in southern San Diego County, shares what superintendents are looking for in principals and other school leaders entering the field. Also featured is Douglas Fisher, professor and chair of Educational Leadership at San Diego State University, who discusses why and how prep programs should work with districts like CVESD.  Their collaboration led to various redesign improvements over the course of Wallace’s UPPI Initiative, but this episode dives deeper into how they were able to share, evaluate ,and act on data through an equitable lens.

Listen now to Episode 4: Districts and Programs Collaborate in Commitment to Equity

Local Alabama Program Shows Promise in Putting More Black, Male Teachers in Classrooms

This article originally appeared on AL.com and is reprinted with permission.

When Wesley Lindsey first met his fourth-grade student, the boy, who is also Black, was reading on a preschool level.

Other teachers had referred the student to special education numerous times and wouldn’t even let him walk in the hallway alone due to behavioral problems.

From fall to spring, Lindsey managed to coach the young boy to nearly a third-grade level. The behavior problems stopped, and the student started mimicking Lindsey in the classroom, telling other students to quiet down and do their work.

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