North Carolina New Schools recently launched a program funded by a $2.3 million U.S. Department of Education grant to train recent graduates and mid-career professionals to be teachers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. The program is designed to fill the need for high-quality teachers in high-need schools, according to program director Stacy Costello.
Costello says prospective teachers will train in a classroom under an experienced teacher, and must take four online courses that address topics such as lesson planning. After 15 months in the program, participants are eligible for a lateral entry teacher's license. The students must teach for three years in one of the state's high-needs schools, which is defined as a school with a high poverty rate, or a school with a high number of teacher vacancies or teachers not considered highly qualified, after which they are eligible for a professional teaching license, Costello says.
The North Carolina New Schools program is different from other lateral-entry teaching options in that the prospective teachers do all of their coursework before they start full-time jobs in the classroom, according to Costello.
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