William Carey University attacking the teacher shortage with new pilot program

Pine Belt News

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – William Carey University is one of only 20 institutions in the nation to receive a 2021 Black Educators Initiative teacher residency grant.

The university received nearly $100,000 from the grant. The funds will be used for a new teacher residency program. Leaders hope the grant will help increase the number of Black teachers in classrooms in three school districts in Mississippi: Hattiesburg, Covington County and Moss Point.

Ten students will be chosen for the program. The students will take classes at William Carey this summer, earning teaching certificates. Following the completion of the classes, the K-12 partner school districts will hire them as classroom teachers for fall 2021. For two years, the new teachers will work in the classroom, meet with mentor teachers about daily challenges and attend seminars presented by WCU education faculty.

William Carey previously ran a Mississippi Teacher residency program while partnering with two Gulf Coast school districts. Those new teachers graduated in May. For this program, the university diversified its reach choosing schools from urban, rural and coastal school districts. Both residency programs focus on giving students classroom experience under the guidance of mentor teachers.

Leaders at the university said the new initiative is an adaptation of WCU’s “Alternate Route” program, which provides people who already have bachelor’s degrees with the classes they need to earn certification as 4th through 12th grade teachers.

Students accepted into the program will attend courses through a hybrid format.

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