Class is in session for the first semester of the Future Educators Program, a cooperative arrangement between Missouri State University and Springfield Public Schools. It’s a grow your own program, where Springfield graduates commit to Missouri State University and then commit to teaching in SPS once they graduate.
“Grow your own programs are popping up around the country to draw more folks into the teaching profession,” said Dr. Chloe Bolyard, assistant professor in the College of Education at Missouri State.
“One of the challenges that we are facing nationwide is our student population is diversifying far faster than our teaching workforce, and so this partnership between SPS and MSU hopes to increase the diversity of our teachers so that students have teachers who look like them.”
One of the tools to assist with recruitment in this program is the financial incentive, Bolyard explained.
- For the high school to educator pathway: Students would receive $2,000 per academic year through an access scholarship from MSU. Additionally, they would receive a $3,000 per year from Springfield Public Schools.
- For our college to educator pathway: Current college students would receive $2,000 per academic year through an access scholarship from MSU. They would also receive a $5,000 per year incentive from Springfield Public Schools.
“Once they are here at Missouri State University, we provide resources for passing their teacher certification exams, resume prep, interview prep, and support them with a mentor in Springfield Public Schools,” Bolyard said. “They would meet with that mentor, who’s a current classroom teacher, once a month and develop a relationship with them.
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“We also provide them with four professional learning opportunities for each year that they are in the program and focus on culturally responsive teaching, financial literacy, test preparation and community engagement.”