Correction: The release sent out on Monday from JSU implied that this was a new grant when it was intended to be an update on the program’s progress and an announcement of our inaugural MTR cohort. The following article has been updated with the new information.

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Jackson State University’s (JSU) College of Education and Human Development (COEHD) welcomed 15 graduate students into their first Mississippi Teacher Residency (MTR) program this fall. The MTR program aims to prepare educators for teaching in geographical critical shortage areas. 

To celebrate the inaugural group, the COEHD, the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) and the Jackson Public School District (JPS) celebrated the students admittance with a signing day similar to when prospective athletes commit to a sports organization.

“We are excited for you. This is a great opportunity that you’ve taken advantage of, and we want to see you through [by] providing the support you need, coaching, and love you need so that you can be successful in this program and go out and do what you were trained to do—teach all students,” Jerri Haynes, Ed.D., dean of the COEHD told the students.

In December 2021, JSU received $2,038,589, a $9.8 million grant from MDE, to address elementary and special education teacher shortages. The program is supported by the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund.

JSU is one of five participating universities. Funds will be used over two years to cover tuition and expenses for graduate students participating in the program. MDE recently expanded the residency program from three to five universities servicing over 20 school districts statewide.

JSU is in partnership with the Jackson Public School District (JPS). Each institution is partnered with one or more school districts experiencing critical teacher shortages.

Upon completion of the residency, the graduate students may earn a master’s degree along with a dual certification in elementary and special education.