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Nominate Now for Teacher Exemplar Award: Deadline is Feb. 5

Star award against gradient background - Teacher Exemplar Award

The Teacher Exemplar Award is presented by the AACTE Diversified Teacher Workforce (DTW) Topical Action Group (TAG) to recognize exceptional student/clinical teachers of Color and PK-12 mentor/cooperating teachers who serve as mentors to student/clinical teachers in field experiences. The instructional pedagogies and practices embodied by the recipients of this award reflects the DTW TAG mission and goals and advances our current understanding of the importance of cultivating a diversified teaching workforce that enhances educational opportunities for ethnically, culturally, and linguistically diverse students. 

Recipients of these awards have demonstrated effective instructional/pedagogical practices, advocacy skills, and a service-minded disposition toward addressing inequities through their teaching, participation in local community, school, and/or grassroots service efforts. In recognition and honor of this important work, the recipients will receive a $500 honorarium each and be recognized in our 2021 DTW Virtual Institute. Also, the recipients will be asked to participate on the planning committee of the 2022 DTW Institute.

Call for Applications: Consortium for Research-Based and Equitable Assessments

Call for ApplicationsAACTE is pleased to announce the Call for Applications for the Consortium for Research-Based and Equitable Assessments (CREA). Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the purpose of the Consortium is to convene stakeholders across various states to (1) examine how cut scores for entrance into educator preparation programs are currently set, (2) identify guidelines and recommendations for setting equitable cut scores for Praxis I and similar assessments, and (3) develop model state policies that seek to attract and prepare diverse teacher candidates for the profession. 

The Consortium of state teams shall be comprised of educator preparation programs and representatives from state and local education agencies. Participants must commit to one full year of participation, which will include quarterly meetings and pre-work between meetings to accomplish the goals of the Consortium.

Complete 2020-2021 Educator Supply and Demand Survey

AAEEThe American Association for Employment in Education (AAEE) is requesting AACTE members’ participation in the 2020-2021 Educator Supply and Demand Survey, conducted in conjunction with the Center for Marketing & Opinion Research, LLC (CMOR). Both AAEE members and non-members are invited and encouraged to participate.

With data and perceptions gathered from colleges, universities, and school systems over several decades, the report generated will provide you and your institution with valuable regional and national insights and trends in PK-12 educator supply and demand. An electronic version of this report will be provided to all respondents in Spring 2021 at no cost.

Completion of the survey should take about 15 minutes and all responses will remain confidential. 

Preview questions (in PDF format) prior to survey completion.

College or University? Complete this survey.

School District? Complete this survey.

AACTE Receives Grant to Reduce Barriers to a Diversified Teaching Workforce

AACTE has launched a new initiative to examine state-level teacher certification assessment scores, with the goal to improve equitable and inclusive practices for promoting a diverse educator workforce. The initiative, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will enable AACTE to develop national guidelines and recommendations for state education leaders in establishing criteria for equitable evaluations for teacher candidates seeking state licensure.

“Left uninterrogated, standardized tests of any sort tend to spur inequalities, rather than resolve them,” said Leslie T. Fenwick, AACTE dean in residence. “If entrance exams are decimating the ranks of prospective pre-service teachers of color, we have a moral and practical obligation to correct the outsized impact of these tests on the future of our profession.”

What Is the Next Education Workforce and Why Is AACTE Engaged in This Work?

Next Education Workforce bannerAACTE’s Strategic Plan holds forth a vision to Revolutionize education for all learners. A bold statement for sure, and our strategic priorities of diversity, equity, and inclusion; high quality preparation; and inquiry and innovation exist to move us toward our vision.

As AACTE surveys the work of its member institutions looking for revolutionary ideas and practices, I have been intrigued by the work of member institution Arizona State University’s  Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College (MLFTC) and its Next Education Workforce initiative. I invite our college of education deans to join me in adding to the conversation and the work of this initiative at a virtual convening next month.

We have talked for years about declining enrollments, the perception of lack of innovation, and the myriad challenges facing teacher education and colleges of education—as well as the challenges of our K-12 partners in staffing and retaining a classroom-ready teacher workforce. What better time to consider different approaches to our collective work? MLFTC, in partnership with its local school districts, is implementing what it calls the Next Education Workforce models in its service area.

WGU Texas Launches Scholarship to Support Teachers of Tomorrow

While many things have changed or been put on hold over the last several months, academic goals don’t have to. Some of the biggest changes brought on by the current pandemic are the way American students are going to school and how adult learners earn their degrees.

In Texas, more than 40,000 teaching positions are still open and as more teachers retire, school administrators have more positions than applicants to fill them. With the growing need for in-person and online schooling, there is an ever-increasing demand for qualified teachers. That’s why WGU Texas is offering the special Become a Teacher Scholarship to help paraprofessionals and other aspiring teachers get started on their teaching degrees.

The Become a Teacher scholarship program assists recipients with $2,500 in scholarship funds awarded at $625 per six-month term for up to four terms and an additional $1,500 stipend during student teaching. These funds can be applied toward any of WGU’s Teachers College degree programs leading to teacher licensure.

UMD Announces A ‘Grow-Your-Own’ Teacher Pipeline

The University of Maryland, Prince George’s Community College and Prince George’s County Public Schools announced a dual enrollment program to increase the teaching workforce in the state.

The Middle College Program enables high schoolers from county schools to earn an associate of arts degree in teaching while completing their high school requirements. Dual enrollment students can then transfer seamlessly into the UMD College of Education’s undergraduate teaching program; the program also aligns with Bowie State University and Howard University’s academic requirements.

“The collaboration is a reflection of our commitment to developing innovative new pathways to prepare an excellent and diverse teacher workforce for Prince George’s County Public Schools and for the state of Maryland,” said Jennifer King Rice, dean of the College of Education. “This model of ‘growing your own’ teachers will increase diversity in the education field, develop teachers from the local community and address critical teaching shortages.”

Alabama A&M initiative announces scholarship opportunities for Black Male Teachers

Teachers working with students in classroom

This article originally appeared in the USBE Information Technology magazine and is reprinted with permission.

Although minorities make up more than half of the student population in public schools, people of color make up about 20 percent of teachers. More than 70 percent of the total number of teachers are female. With support from the Education Writers Association, Chandra Thomas Whitfield took a close look at the shortage of Black male teachers in 2019. Nationwide, Whitfield found that only 2 percent of teachers are Black men.

Eleven months after Whitfield’s report, Alabama A&M University launched its Males for Alabama Education initiative to recruit Black male students who have an interest in teaching.

In October 2020, the Males for Alabama Education (M.AL.E.) Initiative announced that the scholarship program is accepting applications again.

Coordinated by the College of Education, Humanities and Behavioral Sciences and its Department of Teacher Education and Leadership, the M.AL.E. Initiative aims to:

WGU North Carolina Signs Agreement with Bladen County Schools

This article originally appeared in the Bladenonline.com and is reprinted with permission.

WGU North Carolina, an affiliate of online nonprofit Western Governors University (WGU), has signed an agreement with Bladen County Schools to help Teacher Assistants (TAs) advance their careers by earning bachelor’s degrees and teacher certifications. Bladen County Schools TAs who enroll in one of WGU North Carolina’s teacher-preparation programs will receive up to $800 in tuition credit per six-month term, after any Pell Grants have been exhausted, for up to three years.

TAs will have access to WGU career services resources and events, and WGU North Carolina staff will be available to participate in any virtual or in-person education/benefits fairs, seminars, and presentations offered by the school system.

WGU’s Teachers College is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP).

Additionally, all Bladen County Schools employees are eligible to apply for WGU Institutional Partner Scholarships valued at $2,000 ($500 per six-month term, renewable for up to four terms). Tuition is around $3,250 per six-month term for most undergraduate degree programs.

Louisiana Department of Education, Board of Regents, BESE Launch Teacher Preparation Program Website

The Louisiana Department of Education, Louisiana Board of Regents and Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) debuted a new website that will help soon-to-be educators choose the teacher preparation program that fits them best. Prospective educators can now visit LouisianaTeacherPrep.com to explore teacher preparation programs and pathways to become a teacher.

“If we want to provide our children with the education they deserve, we need a highly effective teacher in front of every child,” said State Superintendent of Education Cade Brumley. “Not only does this new tool help prospective teachers find the best pathway for them, but it will recruit educators to our state by showcasing Louisiana’s many quality preparation programs.”

The new website will serve as a one-stop-shop for information on the state’s 29 teacher preparation providers. LouisianaTeacherPrep.com was produced to provide prospective educators with data on Louisiana teacher preparation providers that may be helpful as they select a program suitable to their needs. 

Completion of a teacher preparation program signifies that an enrolled teacher candidate has met all state educational and training requirements to be recommended for initial certification. The LDOE is collaborating with BESE and the Board of Regents in this work. BESE has regulatory authority over any training program that results in initial educator certification in Louisiana. The Board of Regents has regulatory authority over public universities.

Augusta University Keeps New Teaching Grads in the Classroom

Augusta University logoWhile the turnover rate among new teachers is close to 50% across this country, that is not the case with graduates of Augusta University’s College of Education.

About 93% of the graduates from the College of Education at Augusta University remain in the profession for at least 5 years or more. 

In addition, the College of Education has experienced a 100% job placement rate for its graduates who remained in Georgia since 2014, according to the Georgia Professional Standards Commission

“Looking at those two data points together, we really buck the national trend,” said Judi Wilson, dean of the College of Education at Augusta University. “Here, in the College of Education, we work extremely hard to prepare our students for the classroom. Our students get more field experiences than some programs around the state and certainly many programs around the nation. I think that makes a tremendous difference.”

Education students at Augusta University receive practical, hands-on experience inside local schools so they can properly gauge if they are a good fit for the profession, she said.

Invest in a Diverse Teacher Workforce

This article originally appeared on The Seattle Times website and is reprinted with permission.

Teachers standing on books

We see in our nation today the devastating repercussions of white supremacy and systemic racism practiced against communities of color for generations. It’s a grievous offense that our educational systems, which possess a duty to help every child achieve their full potential, often act as instruments to deny this opportunity to all.

As educators of color with decades of experience teaching and leading, we know that education is central to the elimination of racism in society and a more just future for all of us. Education can disrupt entrenched biases. It can amplify our communities’ stories of strength, and achievement and be a force for liberation and self-determination.

While there are many actions we can and should take at every level of our educational systems, the evidence is clear what our first priority must be: investing in a more racially diverse educator workforce.

Here in Washington state, half of K-12 students in public schools are youth of color. Yet only 11% of teachers are.

WSU Awarded $4 Million in Education Grants

Washington State UniversityWashington State University’s Office of Academic Engagement (OAE) was notified by the U.S. Dept. of Education that it is awarding three student support services grants to benefit veterans, STEM students, and future teachers at the university.

OAE Executive Director Michael Highfill said the grants—totaling over $4 million—will each serve between 120 and 140 low-income and first-generation students annually.

“We are pleased with this federal investment in WSU and our successful efforts to serve students through ambitious and innovative programming,” said Mary F. Wack, vice provost for academic engagement and student achievement. She leads the university division of the same name—which uses the acronym Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement (DAESA) and is part of the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President.

$6 Million Gift Bolsters Effort To Diversify The Educator Workforce

Teacher working with students in classroom

The University of Washington today announced a $6 million anonymous gift earmarked to bolster diversity in the education workforce, a key driver in ultimate K-12 student success, especially for students of color.

The gift will expand financial support for and recruitment of teacher candidates from diverse backgrounds, including candidates of color and those who are multilingual. In addition, the gift provides professional learning and supports to enhance retention in the teaching workforce, and evaluation and dissemination of the key learnings to aid efforts across the nation to boost the racial, ethnic and linguistic diversity of teachers entering the profession.

“This extraordinary and generous donation will help to develop a more diverse and representative educational workforce,” said UW President Ana Mari Cauce. “We are deeply grateful for this forward-looking gift that will do so much to benefit students, especially multilingual students and students of color, as well as the students they go on to teach and mentor as educators.”

Call for Proposals: Third Annual New Jersey Convening on Diversifying the Teacher Workforce

The theme of  the Third Annual New Jersey Convening on Diversifying the Teacher Workforce is “Leadership for Diversity: Creating Culturally Responsive Recruitment, Instructional Practice and Retention Strategies.”

The New Jersey Diversifying the Teacher Workforce Convening, co-sponsored by Rutgers University Graduate School of Education, New Jersey Department of Education, and the New Jersey Association of Colleges for Teacher Education is intended to address the serious need to increase the diversity of the New Jersey teaching population and increase culturally responsive practices in the state. This meeting is designed to engage stakeholders and constituents in New Jersey in considering the barriers and supports to diversifying the teacher workforce to increase our numbers of culturally responsive practitioners and to develop culturally responsive practices among New Jersey’s educators. This convening will also provide opportunities for participants to learn about promising and successful efforts to increase teacher diversity in New Jersey and for growing and sustaining culturally responsive educators.

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