Harrisburg, PA - Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera today announced that Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania and West Chester University of Pennsylvania will receive more than $272,000 in funding under the federal Troops to Teachers grant program. The universities will partner with Allegheny Intermediate Unit, Delaware County Intermediate Unit, Pittsburgh Public Schools, and Chester Upland School District to prepare military veterans to be teachers.
“This funding provides a unique opportunity to Pennsylvanians: the ability to address the growing teacher shortage while leveraging partnerships and mentorships to place qualified educators in schools across the commonwealth,” said Secretary Rivera. “The Department has highlighted this opportunity in its Every Student Succeeds Act plan and looks forward to the positive outcomes that will result from this effort.”
The Troops to Teachers grant program, managed by the Defense Activity for Nontraditional Education Support (DANTES), provides institutions with the funding needed to implement an alternative post-baccalaureate program to prepare eligible veterans to teach in one of Pennsylvania's subject shortage areas. Additionally, it aims to provide hard-to-staff schools with appropriately certified teachers. The program will enable veterans to gain critical skills and experience in the classroom, and help them with everything from navigating the certification process to securing a job in the field. Certification costs will also be discounted, and application processing will be expedited.
Under the program, veterans can earn a Pennsylvania instructional certificate to teach mathematics and the sciences in grades 7-12 and foreign languages across the K-12 spectrum. Veterans must hold at least a bachelor’s degree and register on the National Troops to Teachers registry to participate.
As part of the program, and for the first time, teacher preparation institutions will partner with high-need local education agencies to provide a year-long residency program for new educators. Slippery Rock University will also provide teacher mentees with support in interview techniques and resume writing in addition to instructional coaching.
For more information about Pennsylvania’s Troops to Teachers program, visit PDE’s website.
MEDIA CONTACT: Casey Smith - (717) 783-9802
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