The U.S. Department of Education has awarded $22.1 million for 41 grants through the Transition to Teaching program to increase the pool of qualified teachers in high-need schools in high-need districts by recruiting non-traditional teacher candidates, preparing them through alternative routes to certification, and increasing retention through strong mentoring programs, U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings announced. “Nothing helps a child learn as much as a great teacher,” said Spellings. “These grants will help states find innovative ways to attract business professionals and others to the classroom in order to fill the need for qualified teachers in hard-to-staff schools.”
Since 2002, Transition To Teaching (TTT) has awarded 150 grants to higher education institutions, state and local educational agencies, and nonprofit organizations to develop, implement, and evaluate innovative strategies in the recruitment, selection, preparation, and support of highly qualified teachers in high-need districts and schools. Districts must meet both a poverty and teacher qualification requirement to be considered high-need. Additionally, TTT is focused on core academic subjects at all grade levels, such as math, science, special education, and English as a Second Language. Over the program’s first four years, an estimated 17,600 TTT participants were hired to teach and were working in these areas.
The five-year grants support recruitment of mid-career professionals, recent college graduates and paraprofessionals. Projects include strong mentoring aspects in order to retain these new teachers for at least three years, which increases the likelihood that the teachers will remain in the profession.
Arizona grantees are:
- Arizona State University ~ $648,243
- Arizona Department of Education ~ $617,578
Click here for more information on the Transition to Teaching program.