A collaboration between GVSU’s College of Education and Community Innovation and three West Michigan school districts aims to help more than 300 professionals obtain advanced teaching credentials or a teaching certificate.
Announced on September 27, the West Michigan Teacher Collaborative will utilize CECI faculty and programs to provide participants from Kent, Muskegon and Ottawa intermediate school districts a no-cost pathway to becoming teachers or give current teachers an opportunity to pursue credentials.
CECI Associate Dean Amy Schelling said the close relationships built between CECI and local school districts played an important factor in developing the collaborative.
“GVSU’s partnership with the WMTC showcases how PK-12 and university educator preparation programs can leverage their close relationship to respond to the teacher and school professional shortage by co-creating innovative programming that removes some of the barriers to becoming a teacher,” Schelling said. “This program maintains high quality teacher preparation standards and in ways that support the unique needs of the region.”
Programs are aimed at people without a bachelor’s degree and looking to earn one to become a teacher; people with a bachelor’s degree looking to switch to a career in teaching; and current educators seeking additional credentials through advanced degrees.
Schelling said a variety of degree and certification options will be available through CECI:
- an accelerated bachelor’s degree plus initial elementary certification
- an accelerated secondary certification and additional teaching credentials or endorsements in school counseling, reading specialist, special education, ESL, early childhood, elementary and secondary reading
- elementary and secondary additional endorsement
“Staff from WMTC and GVSU’s education faculty are working alongside one another using existing courses from GVSU’s accelerated graduate teacher certification program to co-create the residency program for initial teacher certification for WMTC participants,” Schelling said.
Schelling said GVSU currently has similar partnerships to help aspiring or existing teachers with nine school systems across the state — Fennville Public Schools, Van Buren ISD, Northwest Education Services, Genesee ISD, Parchment School District, Ionia School District, Rockford Public Schools, Ishpeming Public Schools and the WMTC.
“In collaboration with WMTC a number of supports and resources will be embedded across the arc of the program and beyond, ensuring that WMTC candidates are successful and are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to thrive in the profession,” Schelling said.
Tuition, fees and stipends are covered with many eligible participants receiving stipends up to $20,000. The $19 million in funding for the WMTC is made possible through the Michigan Department of Education’s Future Proud Michigan Educator Grow Your Own Programs for School Staff Grant.
Applications for WMTC programs are open through November 1, for programs beginning in January and May.