Cultivating an Interest in Teaching


Cultivating an Interest in Teaching

Promising Practices

Promising Practice: Pre-College Engagement

Pre-college engagement includes supplemental support, financial incentives, and targeted exposure for young, prospective teachers. Inservice teachers, who aim to inspire middle and high school students to teach in their own communities, are critical for program success.

Research/Evidence Shows: Recommended Actions:

Engaging in pre-college initiatives allows districts to invest in current students of color while also cultivating future teachers.

  • Inspire in-service teachers to serve as mentors and facilitators.
  • Provide resources and engagement opportunities such as field trips, extended day, after-school clubs, and internships.
  • Support college enrollment for aspiring teachers to minimize drop-off.
  • Encourage commitments from LEAs to provide program participants with “first look” hiring preferences.

Connecticut RESC/MTR Alliance Initiatives

Educators Rising

Education Policy Initiative at Carolina

Public School Forum of North Carolina

North Carolina Teaching Fellows Impact Report


Spotlight: TEACH Connecticut (CT)
Description The TEACH Connecticut campaign is led by the Connecticut State Department of Education and aims to provide tools and services that raise the image of the teaching profession, reduce the number of vacancies in certification shortage areas, and improve the quality and the diversity of new teacher supply.
Scope of Reach TEACH Connecticut
Timeframe 2018 - present
Budget / Sources of funds Funded by Microsoft in partnership with and the Buck Foundation. The CT State Department of Education maintains a management position and supports the work of the TEACH team.
Actor(s) Implementing Collaboration between the CSDE and
Results The website aims to:
  • Promote the teaching profession by highlighting the work of current teachers
  • Explicitly showcase the need for a more diverse educator workforce
  • Provide information about multiple pathways to becoming a teacher

As of March 2019, TEACH Connecticut has partnered with 15 educator preparation programs and 66 school districts. Most partners have descriptive profiles on the site for users to gain a deeper understanding of pathways to certification and the variety of educational communities available for teachers to serve Connecticut's students.

Spotlight: State Student Advisory Council (CT)


In 1998, the CT State Legislature created the State Student Advisory Council on Education (SSACE) to give CT students a voice in education planning and enable the State Board of Education (SBE), the CT State Department of Education (CSDE), the Governor, and state legislators to become familiar with high school students' perspectives on key issues.
Scope of Reach High school juniors and seniors are invited to apply and are expected to commit to dedicated monthly meetings. Members write position papers on important topics in education, suggested by the Commissioner of Education, and present their findings to the SBE annually. The Council also conducts the statewide Challenge to Educational Citizenship Awards Program and through their discussions and activities, learn from each other about citizenship, leadership, and responsibility.
Timeframe 1998-present
Budget / Sources of funds The Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS) provides mileage stipends for student travel to the monthly meetings as well as lunch prior to students' return to school.
Actor(s) Implementing CAS facilitates SSSACE meetings with support from the CSDE.
Results For more than twenty years, SSACE has been dedicated to influencing legislation and adapting it to the changing needs of Connecticut students. Most recently, the Council has conducted action research and prepared recommendations about the value of increasing the racial ethnic, and linguistic diversity of the educator workforce.

Spotlight: Pathways to Teaching Program (CT)
Description High school students were provided with opportunities to connect with teacher mentors.The programincluded field trips to universities with education programs for students to experience a college environment and engage with teacher candidates.Students who enrolled in a teacher preparation program received a $400/semester book stipend.
Scope of Reach Served 100 - 170 students a year; 64% are Black/African American, 23% are Hispanic
Timeframe 2012 - 2016
Budget / Sources of funds $140,000 annual; Regional Education Service Center (RESC) Minority Teacher Recruitment (MTR) Alliance funded by the state of Connecticut
Actor(s) Implementing RESC MTR Alliance
  • Increase in male student participation (from 9 males in 2014 - 2015 to 22 in 2015 - 2016)
  • Out of 100 students in 2015 - 2016, 60 enrolled into college and received support

Spotlight: Educators Rising, Consolidated School District of New Britain (CSDNB) (CT)
Description Educators Rising is a division of Phi Delta Kappa International and was created with the support of the National Education Association (NEA) and American Federation of Teachers (AFT). EdRising Academy is a rigorous high school-based program of study where students explore teaching through profession-aligned coursework and meaningful clinical experiences. CSDNB has implemented an EdRising club to offer middle school students opportunities to tutor younger students in after school programs. EdRising at the high school level is curriculum-based with the goal of increasing diversity in the local teacher workforce and steering rising educators to return to New Britain as teachers.
Scope of Reach
  • EdRising middle school club: 18 students
  • EdRising freshman year program: 90 students
  • EdRising for students in grades 10-12: 78 students
Timeframe 2017 - Present 
Budget / Sources of funds TBD
Actor(s) Implementing CSDNB faculty and leadership in partnership with Central Connecticut State University (CCSU)
  • Opportunities available for EdRising students include structured clinical experiences, mentorships, Saturday Academies, state and national competitions, and access to guest instructors/professors from local universities.

Spotlight: Grow Your Own (GYO) Illinois (IL)
Description Teacher candidates are placed in class cohorts, are provided with loans that can be forgiven after five years of teaching in a high-needs position, and are given supplementary financial incentives (including funds for child care, transportation, and materials).
Scope of Reach Goal of attracting 1,000 teachers from 2005 - 2016, primarily in high-needs districts. In 2013, 52% of candidates were paraprofessionals, 16% were parent volunteers.Candidates must have at least a high school diploma or GED in order to enroll.
Timeframe 2005 - present
Budget / Sources of funds $20 million program; funded by the state of Illinois
Actor(s) Implementing GYO Illinois is an independent nonprofit organization with 11 consortia across the state (six in Chicago).
  • GYO Illinois has produced 120 college graduates, teaching in 88 public schools. 88% of all participants are people of color living in communities where they teach.
  • Due to its large scope and long duration, GYO has identified potential challenges grow your own programs may encounter. Early limitations to the program’s success (which GYO has begun to address) included:
    • Academic barriers to EPP completion;
    • Insufficient screening mechanisms to identify basic skills requirements;
    • High administrative costs for personnel (up to 40% of grants); and
    • Too many class requirements for non-Bachelor’s degree holders.

Spotlight: Minority Teacher Identification & Enrichment Program (MTIEP) (IL)
Description Through a local network of chapters at twenty-two Illinois community colleges, this program at Eastern Illinois University provided prospective and current education majors with academic advising as well as information and support on transferring to a four year institution, teacher certification, test preparation, and financial aid.
Scope of Reach 7,000 students across 22 community colleges engaged with MTIEP since its founding in 1993
Timeframe 1993
Budget / Sources of funds State funded via the Illinois Board of Higher Education Higher Education Cooperative Act (HECA), contributing $99,400 annually
Actor(s) Implementing Eastern Illinois University's College of Education & Professional Studies
  • Since inception, 133 students completed a Bachelor of Science or Master of Science in Education and were employed in Illinois educational institutions
Spotlight: LEAP to Teacher program at Queens College (NY)
Description Paraprofessional participants receive EPP tuition as well as release time and/or a summer stipend from the NYC Department of Education. Paraprofessionals remain engaged in the community and continue working in schools while enrolled at Queens College as part-time undergraduate or graduate students (depending on prior education degree attainment).
Scope of Reach 706 students between 1996 - 2009; full time paraprofessionals employed by NYC public schools, most of whom do not have a Bachelor's degree.
Timeframe 1996 - present
Budget / Sources of funds Funded by NYC Department of Education
Actor(s) Implementing Queens College and City University of New York (CUNY); supported by United Federation of Teachers
  • 46.6% of LEAP alumni are non-White.
  • 43% college graduation rate for part-time students within 8 years (compared with national average of 25%); 55.5% of LEAP teachers taught for 3 - 9 years (as compared to national average of 36.3%).
  • Almost half of all LEAP graduates returned to their original school to teach full-time. Of those who went to different schools, 67% stated it was only because there was "no position available" at their original schools.

Spotlight: North Carolina Teaching Fellows (NC)
Description Recruited high school seniors and provided $6500 annual scholarships and enrichment activities for four years of college.Fellows committed to teaching in North Carolina for at least four years after graduation.Program was eliminated in 2011 due to lack of funding.
Scope of Reach Brought 500 teachers into classrooms each year with total of 11,000 teachers from 1986 - 2011.
Timeframe 1986 - 2011
Budget / Sources of funds Total of $250M ($10M each year) in scholarships; funded by North Carolina General Assembly.
Actor(s) Implementing Public School Forum of North Carolina (private, nonprofit)
  • Over 90% of Teaching Fellows remained in NC public schools after 3 years; 75% remained for 5 years (compared with 80% and 68% of in-state prepared teachers).
  • 25% of 2010 recipients were students of color. After program funding was cut in 2011, NC's public universities saw a 30% drop in education majors between 2010 and 2015.

Urban Academies Broward County Program (FL)
Description Selected high school students teach at elementary or middle schools and were guaranteed college tuition through Broward Community College's Education Pathway 2+2 Guaranteed University Transfer program.
Scope of Reach High school and college students
Timeframe 1999
Budget / Sources of funds In 2005 - 2006, annual budget of $600,000; funded by Broward County Public Schools' General Budget, Human Resource Development, and Title I Funding
Actor(s) Implementing Formed by Broward County Educational Consortium
  • Over 6 years, prepared more than 360 teacher interns for Broward County schools.
  • In 2004 - 2005, 93% teacher retention (compared to 84% in County and 67% nationwide).
  • In 2006, received "Innovations in American Government Awards" by Ash Institute at Harvard University. Seven additional Florida districts received $40,000 in grants to replicate program.

Promising Practice: Pathway Programs for Non-Certified Staff

Pathway programs for non-certified staff include initiatives that focus on recruitment and educator preparation program (EPP) enrollment of non-certified teacher candidates and are often run by local education agencies (LEAs). School districts identify and support current paraeducator employees, substitute teachers, and community members through paid time off and/or scholarships to pursue a teaching certification.

Research/Evidence Shows: Recommended Actions:

Paraeducators are experienced in school settings, more likely to be from underrepresented backgrounds, and are often concentrated in shortage areas such as bilingual and special education. Volunteers and community members are also committed to serving in their neighborhood school districts.

  • Allow non-certified staff to maintain current position with paid time off and reduced work responsibilities while fulfilling certification program requirements.
  • Prioritize non-certified staff for potential employment as a certified teacher upon program completion.

Connecticut Relay GSE Alternate Route to Certification

Grow Your Own (GYO) Illinois

LEAP To Teacher (LTT) at Queens College

United Federation of Teachers LEAP To Teacher

Promising Practice: Community College/Transfer Articulation Pathways

States and community colleges are creating pathways for individuals who start at a two-year college before transferring to a four-year EPP. Nationally, more than 21% of all teacher candidates start their preparation at a community college. EPPs who adopt a streamlined recruitment process from community colleges can further increase representation from this diverse talent pool.

Research/Evidence Shows: Recommended Actions:

Community colleges enroll a high proportion of  students of color. Fifty percent of all Hispanic students and 44% of all African-American students enrolled in higher education start at a community college. Assisting this diverse group of students to transfer to and succeed in an EPP will diversify the existing pool of candidates.

  • Support students transferring from community colleges to four-year institutions.
  • Develop standardized core classes and articulation agreements across community colleges & public universities.
  • Create “pre-teacher” two year degrees that serve as explicit feeders for four year institutions.

Education Pathway at Broward College

Promising Practice: Internship/Fellowship Programs

Internship/fellowship programs are immersive, experiential learning opportunities that typically involve direct classroom exposure as part of the internship experience. Programs often include mentorships and professional development and may lead to full-time offers upon college completion. Most programs target high school upperclassmen or college students (e.g., before/after care/extended day and extended school year programs, summer camps, etc.).

Research/Evidence Shows: Recommended Actions:

Structured field experiences provide opportunities to attract even non-education majors, therefore increasing the potential pool of eligible candidates of color, often before career decisions are finalized.

  • Provide mentorships by experienced teachers.
  • Create opportunities for direct interaction with students in a variety of classroom environments.
  • Offer opportunities for employment to interns/fellows upon program completion.

The ConnTESOL Quarterly, 2014:Western CT State University/Danbury Minority-Bilingual Teacher Pipeline Initiative

EdX Keeps Local Teachers in Columbia, MO


Spotlight: Danbury Teaching Fellows in Partnership with Western Connecticut State University (WCSU) (CT)
Description The WCSU/Danbury Minority Bilingual Teacher Pipeline Initiative was launched with the first cohort of Teaching Fellows inducted in June 2014. Eight students were selected from over 25 applicants to join the cohort with over 20 applicants placed on a waiting list. The program has continued to grow since its inception.
Scope of Reach  Danbury High School juniors and seniors
Timeframe  2014 - Present 
Budget / Sources of funds  Start-up funds were awarded to Danbury Public Schools through a $25,000 minority teacher recruitment grant offered by the CSDE.
Actor(s) Implementing Danbury High School Teaching Fellows attend the CONCAP/Upward Bound Program and receive one college credit through the Exploring the Career of Teaching in a Diverse Community I course at WCSU. Current WCSU education majors act as mentors to the Danbury Teaching Fellows.

To date, a total of 48 Danbury High School students have received 3 education college credits from Western Connecticut State University by participating in the Minority and Bilingual Teaching Pipeline Program.

  • 86% or 25 of the 29 students that graduated Danbury High School are attending college.
  • 20% or 5 or the 25 students attending a college/university are Education majors.
  • 10 students are currently seniors at DHS and will graduate in June 2019.
  • 9 students are currently juniors at DHS.

Spotlight: EdX at Columbia Public Schools (MO)
Description The Educational Experience Intern Program (EdX) places high school students in elementary and middle schools for a paid summer internship program. Interns participate in classroom observations, paired mentorships, and direct classroom teaching. Interns are guaranteed teaching jobs in CPS upon receiving their teaching certificate.
Scope of Reach In 2016, 10 students were selected from 42 applicants. Requirements include a minimum 2.5 GPA requirement.
Timeframe 2016 - present
Budget / Sources of funds Unknown
Actor(s) Implementing Columbia Public Schools
  • Program results are forthcoming, however high application numbers relative to spots available suggest early promising results.

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