Special for T&D
COLOMBIA – The South Carolina Department of Education has expanded two successful local programs, Call Me MISTER and Teaching Fellows, and is launching an initiative, TeachSC, in response to the state’s growing teacher shortage.
“There is no profession more rewarding or more critical to the future success of our state and our nation than teaching,” said state Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman. “If we are truly committed to ensuring that every classroom in South Carolina is teacher-led, we must act now to address our growing teacher shortage. Whether you are in high school, college, or Looking for a more fulfilling career, I encourage you to check out these proven programs and consider becoming a teacher and making a lifelong impact on current and future generations of learners.
As part of this commitment, SCDE is providing $1,690,000 in Federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funding over three years to the national nonprofit TEACH. TEACH builds comprehensive technology-driven solutions to attract and train future teachers. TEACH South Carolina (TeachSC) is a statewide coalition of K-12 schools, universities, governments, community organizations, and nonprofits, including the mission is to recruit the next generation of South Carolina teachers and support them through the certification process.
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At the center of this initiative is www.TeachSC.org, a centralized platform for future teachers to explore the profession and find help, all for free. The TeachSC platform will tackle barriers to entry into the profession, helping prospects understand the critical role teachers play in shaping South Carolina’s future, and then helping them choose and apply for an education program that meets their needs.
“I know firsthand the remarkable impact a teacher has on a child,” said Katie Crews, Senior Program Manager for TeachSC. “The work we do at TeachSC helps ensure that those who dream of leading the world’s next generation can achieve those dreams. By helping these leaders achieve their dreams, we are ensuring that every child in South Carolina can feel the impact of a quality teacher.
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Over the past five years, education programs across the country have seen enrollment stagnate or decline. In South Carolina, between 5,000 and 7,000 teachers retire, transfer to another school district, or leave the profession early each year, while just over 2,000 new teachers graduate from teacher training programs each year. state education, according to data from the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention and Advancement (CERRA). For the 2021-22 school year, more than 1,000 teaching positions were vacant at the start of the year.
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A CERRA program, the South Carolina Teaching Fellows, aims to recruit talented high school students into the teaching profession and help them develop leadership qualities. Each year, the program offers scholarships to up to 200 high school students. SCDE provided $1,213,622 in federal ESSER funding to CERRA to expand the teaching fellowship program. The CERRA partnership will address educator and teacher shortages exacerbated by COVID-19, contribute to efforts to stabilize and support the workforce of educators, provide ongoing support to recruit and retain a diverse pool of educators and will collaborate with educator programs to expand clinical opportunities and experiences for future teacher candidates.
“We are delighted to partner with SCDE in its efforts to recruit high-calibre SC graduates into the teaching profession,” said Dr. Jenna Hallman, Executive Director/Director of College Programs for CERRA. “The additional funding for the SC Teaching Fellows program will allow us to expand our marketing efforts, provide professional growth opportunities for program leaders on every college/university campus, and increase the number of awards.”
The mission of Clemson University’s Call Me MISTER (Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Role Models) initiative is to increase the number of available teachers from more diverse backgrounds, especially among lower-performing elementary schools. of State. Call me SIR. The Call Me MISTER Initiative will use the funding to continue to support existing Call Me MISTER programs and support up to 60 additional MISTERs enrolled among 18 four-year partner colleges and nine two-year technical colleges in South Carolina, starting in the 2021-24 financial year. It is expected that a MISTER who completes their degree program and is certified to teach will assume a teaching position in a public school and teach for at least one year for each year they received financial support from the program .
“We are delighted with the continued partnership and support of the Call Me MISTER program by the South Carolina Department of Education,” said Dr. George J. Petersen, professor and founding dean of the College of Education. “The support of our nationally recognized program speaks volumes about our state’s commitment to the transformative education provided by the Call Me MISTER program.”
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SCDE has created a web page for anyone interested in learning about the teaching profession. To learn more about the three initiatives, please visit www.aspiretoinspiresc.org.