AP NEWS

Idaho college receives $1.1M to expand teacher training

November 18, 2019 GMT

TWIN FALLS, Idaho (AP) — An Idaho college has received a $1.1 million grant to help address a statewide teacher shortage through an alternative certification program, officials said.

The College of Southern Idaho plans to expand its Non-Traditional Educator Preparation Program, The Times-News reports.

The state Workforce Development Council, operating under the office of Republican Gov. Brad Little, approved the grant.

The program is designed for teachers without a certificate or hoping to change their certificate, and for career changers or paraprofessionals who want to become fully accredited teachers, officials said.

The accelerated, four-semester program provides classroom mentors for hands-on training as well as monthly course material delivered in person or online.

The program is expected to train 830 teachers over the three-year period of the grant. Officials said 19 candidates enrolled in fall 2018 and are expected to receive certification in the spring, while 93 candidates enrolled this year.

“The successful education of every child begins with a great teacher, and that is why we are committed to finding ways to train more teachers and incentivize them to stay in the profession by paying them competitively,” Little said in a statement.

The college works with school districts to match candidates with mentor teachers and fill local positions, especially in rural communities, officials said.

About 1,500 teachers leave the profession annually, according to a 2018 report from the Idaho State Board of Education.

“CSI is leading the way as they respond to a need by providing opportunities for those who have training and qualifications but lack a teaching certificate,” State Board of Education President Debbie Critchfield said. “The board expects to see similar programs started in every region of our state.”

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Information from: The Times-News, http://www.magicvalley.com