Georgia State University has launched a teacher prep and retention program to help ensure students in metro Atlanta school districts receive stable, qualified classroom instruction.
Georgia State’s College of Education & Human Development (CEHD) is partnering with four area school districts to help mitigate the state’s teacher shortage and improve teacher retention, according to university officials.
The Pathways to Teacher Credentialing Project creates a partnership between the college and Atlanta Public Schools, Gwinnett County Public Schools, the Newton County School System, and Rockdale County Public Schools to prepare educators. The program is made possible by funding from Georgia State, the four partner school districts, federal- and state-level TEACH Grants and The Goizueta Foundation.
Provisionally licensed teachers who are in the classroom and paraprofessionals with bachelor’s degrees in the four districts earn a Master of Arts in Teaching degree, which will prepare them to become certified teachers of record, according to officials at Georgia State. At the same time, licensed and certified classroom teachers will earn a Master of Education degree to enhance their skills and advance in their careers.
The college is expected to support the professional development of 270 educators over the three-year project.
All teachers and paraprofessionals earning advanced degrees through the Pathways to Teacher Credentialing Project commit to teaching in their districts for a certain number of years after they graduate. By recruiting educators who already work in these districts and who have demonstrated a commitment to a career in education, the project will reinforce the state’s teacher workforce and give Georgia students a quality education from well-prepared educators.
Georgia State reported that about 95% of CEHD teacher education alumni stay in the metro Atlanta area for their careers, and 87% are still working in high-needs schools three years after graduation.
“The quality of a child’s teacher has a tremendous impact on their learning,” said Laura May, CEHD associate dean and project director. “We’re excited to see multiple stakeholders come together to support this meaningful, long-term professional development program.”