WUFT News

New Teacher Residency Program Targets Skilled, Unlikely Educators

By on April 1st, 2014

Alana Walker was determined to have a career in dentistry. Instead, she stands in front of an eighth-grade classroom.

Walker, a 23-year-old graduate from Jacksonville University with a degree in science and sociology, recently applied to the Jacksonville Teacher Residency Program and is exactly the type of applicant the program is looking to attract.

The residency program is the first of its kind in Florida to focus on recruiting recent graduates not originally pursuing careers in education but rather careers in math and science. Nikolai Vitti, superintendent for Duval County Public Schools, said it is an alternative solution to teacher shortages in Duval County for the two subjects.

The deadline to apply is April 16. Duval County Public Schools, the University of North Florida and the Jacksonville Public Education Fund support the initiative.

The participating schools are Northwestern Middle School, Matthew W. Gilbert Middle School, William M. Raines High School, Jean Ribault High School and Andrew Jackson High School.

Larry Daniel, dean of the College of Education and Human Services at UNF, explained the program offers a fully paid master’s degree in education in exchange for a three-year commitment to teaching in Duval County Public Schools.

“I won’t have the funds to be able to go back to school, which is a priority of mine, and the fact that they will reimburse you for your tuition really stuck out to me,” Walker said.

Walker is now a teacher-in-training at Northwestern Middle School in Duval County.

Alana Walker, 23, graduated with a degree in science and sociology. However, she now finds herself pursuing a career in education with the help of a program geared toward recruiting students like her.

Alana Walker

Alana Walker, 23, graduated with a degree in science and sociology. However, she now finds herself pursuing a career in education with the help of a program geared toward recruiting students like her.

“Once we got all the particulars worked out, we immediately started recruiting, and so our goal is to get this group in within the next few weeks,” Daniel said.

Daniel said he would ideally like to attract a national audience, but in its first year, the program is primarily focused on statewide outreach.

He said UNF is currently in the final stages of building the curriculum.

Christine White, the program’s director for Duval County Public Schools, said a group of about 20 to 30 students will start taking classes in the late summer. In the fall, they will each begin a year-long mentorship with an experienced science or math teacher at one of the five partnered schools while working towards their masters.

The program is “virtually a paid internship,” White said. In addition to paying for their education, the program offers a $20,000-stipend to each individual to cover living expenses in the first year.

Daniel said tuition and stipends were made possible by a monetary gift from a pool of private local donors in Jacksonville, known as the Quality Education for All Fund, which falls under the Jacksonville Public Education Fund. However, the amount given has yet to be finalized.

At the end of the program, students will have the courses needed to complete their teacher certification in Florida.

Daniel said Nikolai Vitti agreed those who complete the program would be considered for permanent employment at the end of the three-year teaching commitment.

For recent graduates who have explored their options and are now considering a career in education, Daniel said, “We want to tell them it’s not too late.”


This entry was posted in Education and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Education

Bees

Beekeeping Certification Gives Florida Inmates Skills For A Second Chance

Seventeen inmates in Lake Butler will be the latest class of certified beekeepers from the the Reception and Medical Center’s Beekeeping Program. The Florida Department of Corrections and the Florida Department of Agriculture created the re-entry program for inmates who were about to be released.


Waiting for author to email caption w/ names

Eastside High School Culinary Team Wins Sixth Place In National Competition

Students of Eastside High School’s Institute of Culinary Arts competed in the National Prostart Invitational in Anaheim, California, hosted by the National Restaurant Association. The team came in sixth place.


**Tenley was emailed to verify that she made this. Credit it accordingly once she responds.**

Two Years After Grant Ends, Alachua County Schools See Little Improvement

Alachua County schools received a $2 million grant five years ago. Three of the schools that benefited greatly from the money haven’t seen much improvement in their school grades.


Students at Stephen Foster Elementary School learn the basics of nutrition education from retired University of Florida dietetics professor Dr. Pam McMahon. Kids in the Kitchen is a county wide program sponsored by the Department of Children and Families, UF and the USDA. Photo courtesy of Bailey Bruce / Foster Elementary Afterschool Coordinator.

New Program Hopes To Bring Nutritional Education To Elementary Schools

Stephen Foster Elementary School is the first elementary school to participate in Kids in the Kitchen, a program that teaches students about nutritional food options and food preparation. The program was started by Pamela McMahon, Ph.D., a retired University of Florida faculty member and registered dietician.


Screen Shot

UF Students Welcome Bill Proposing Tax-Free Textbooks

A new law in Florida could help students save money on expensive textbooks. The bill looks to eliminate the sales tax from textbooks to give students a break on the hundreds they already spend on required texts.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments