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The U.S. Department of Education awarded a federal Transition to Teaching grant to the Green River Regional Educational Cooperative on behalf of 20 of its 33 districts and their 96 schools in 2009.
By receiving the Transition to Teaching grant as part of a federal push to help school districts recruit skilled mid-career professionals and recent college graduates into teaching careers, GRREC will place up to 100 new teachers in Kentucky throughout the duration of the four-year grant.
In all, the 20 school districts identified more than 350 teaching vacancies, vacancies that impact 45,000-plus students throughout the region.
All teachers trained through this project will be placed within these eligible schools districts: Adair County, Campbellsville, Elizabethtown, Monroe County, Allen County, Caverna Independent, Grayson, Ohio County, Bowling Green Independent, Cloverport Independent, Green County, Owensboro, Breckinridge, Cumberland, Hart County, Russellville, Butler County, Edmonson, Metcalfe County and Todd County.
Funds in the grant will cover the cost of more than 50 percent of graduate-level tuition costs associated with obtaining teaching certification. GRREC has previously operated two similar Transition to Teaching projects and has already placed 134 highly qualified teachers within south central Kentucky.
New teacher candidates will be selected from two pools or groups of individuals who have a bachelor's degree but who do not currently have teaching certification: (1) The project will recruit career professionals who have worked in a field related to the content they hope to teach. For example, an engineer may qualify in math or science based on his/her degree and work experience. A social worker or parent of a child with disabilities might be an ideal candidate for a position as a special education teacher; and (2) the project will recruit recent college graduates who, in spite of the fact that they did not pursue a teacher certification track in college, have a strong interest in teaching.
Candidates will be recruited from across the region, with GRREC and the school districts screening each to find those with outstanding professional and academic backgrounds and to identify the best matches for the eligible districts. Each candidate will enter the classroom meeting No Child Left Behind standards as a highly qualified teacher as defined by the U.S. Department of Education.
Over the four years of the grant, up to 25 candidates each year will start on their path to becoming teachers by enrolling in Western Kentucky University's Alternative Route to Certification through which they will ultimately obtain their master of arts in education. This graduate-level program will focus on content enhancement, research-based instructional strategies, classroom management, etc. More than 50 percent of tuition will be paid through the grant. Financial aid is also available for the additional tuition costs.
Candidates will enter area classrooms as teachers after the initial summer of university coursework and during their first year of teaching will complete their Masters degree by taking night, weekend, online, and summer courses. These new teachers will also receive the support of a master mentor teacher during their first two years in the classroom.
Detailed information on the program including qualifications for applicants may be found at GRREC's website at www.grrec.ky.gov. After reviewing the information, potential applicants may address additional questions to Project Coordinator Stacey Owen at (270) 563-2113 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information sessions have been planned for:
The Green River Regional Educational Cooperative is a nonprofit consortium of 33 member school districts in central Kentucky and Western Kentucky University. GRREC provides professional development services to educators with a focus on quality teaching to foster student learning. The Cooperative operates more than a dozen collaborative programs impacting more than 100,000 students, teachers and administrators.