Missouri State University and Springfield Public Schools penned a deal designed to bolster the future of the teaching workforce.
The organizations yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding at Hillcrest High School to create the Grow Your Own program, a districtwide initiative to identify high school and college students who want to become educators, according to a news release.
“To address the ongoing teacher shortage, we must continue to explore innovative ways to reach potential teacher candidates,” SPS Superintendent Grenita Lathan said in the release. “Grow Your Own will help us connect with future teachers earlier, provide them experience in our classrooms and encourage them to join team SPS when they graduate."
Under the deal, MSU will provide a $2,000 access scholarship each year to any SPS student who is selected and accepted into the university's College of Education. Current MSU and Ozarks Technical Community College students may also be eligible.
The partnership comes amid a challenging workforce situation for the education industry, according to the release. The state of Missouri and SPS are facing a shortage of K-12 teachers, in part due to retirements or exits. Officials say the COVID-19 pandemic has been a contributor.
“As the teacher shortage continues to intensify across Missouri, these kinds of alliances are an investment in the future of our state," said Barri Tinkler, interim dean of the College of Education at MSU, in the release.
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