(FRANKFORT, Ky.) - The Kentucky Department of Education, in partnership with Campbellsville University, has received a 2007 Transition to Teaching grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
The five-year, $2.8 million grant is funded through the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act and is designed to help states recruit individuals into the field of teaching. In Kentucky, the grant will target special education teacher candidates to increase and retain the number of highly qualified special education teachers.
KDE and Campbellsville University will use the grant to recruit, prepare and mentor special education teachers admitted to the university’s alternative certification program, which blends face-to-face and online classroom instruction. Candidates for the program will be recruited from paraprofessionals, recent college graduates and mid-career professionals. The Kentucky Technical and Community College System (KCTCS) and the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce support the grant and will serve as collaborators in recruitment efforts. The mentoring program will provide skilled regional mentors who will provide training and on-site assistance to the teachers and their school-based coaches.
There are 35 school districts identified as partners in the 2007 Transition to Teaching grant. Adair Co. Allen Co. Ashland Ind. Berea Ind. Breathitt Co. Campbellsville Ind. Casey Co. Caverna Ind. Covington Ind. Edmondson Co. Frankfort. Ind. Fulton. Ind. Glasgow Ind. Green Co Hart Co. Hickman Co. Hopkins Co. Jefferson Co. Jenkins Ind. Knox Co. Lee Co. Letcher Co. Lewis Co. Lincoln Co. Menifee Co. Metcalfe Co. Monticello Ind. Owensboro Ind. Paintsville Ind. Powell Co. Pulaski Co. Russell Co. Russellville Ind. Somerset Ind. Williamsburg Ind.
Campbellsville University will screen potential candidates for the program through a rigorous process. Participating schools are asked to support the program by interviewing these candidates and considering them as potential teachers when employment opportunities arise. They are not, however, obligated to hire them if a more qualified candidate exists.
Each participant is asked to commit to a school district for a minimum of three years. In return, the districts are asked to commit to employ program completers. These participants will be evaluated as all first-year teachers are, and recommendations and improvement plans will be made based on their performance. The schools, along with the project director, also will make recommendations for on-site mentors who will be working closely with each participant.
The federal Transition to Teaching program funds national, regional, statewide and local projects and is designed to support the recruitment and retention of highly qualified mid-career professionals, including qualified paraprofessionals, and recent college graduates who have not majored in education to teach in high-need schools and districts through the development of new or enhanced alternative routes to certification.
The program provides five-year grants to state and local educational agencies or for-profit organizations, non-profit organizations or institutions of higher education collaborating with state or local educational agencies. Grantees develop and implement comprehensive approaches to train, place and support teacher candidates whom they have recruited into their programs, which must meet relevant state certification or licensing requirements. Grantees then ensure that program participants are placed to teach in high-need schools and districts and support candidates to serve in these placements for at least three years.
Source: KDE press release