In California, 82 percent of rural communities are reporting teacher shortages – communities representing one-third of all California school districts. With the teacher shortage expected to nearly double by 2025, rural districts are being challenged to address these shortages today.
Through a program announced in September, TCOE’s California Center on Teaching Careers (the Center), in partnership with CSU Bakersfield, will invest nearly $7 million to prepare 150 new teachers to fill high-need openings in the Visalia Unified School District. The Teacher Residency for Rural Education (TRRE) project creates a supportive gateway into the profession, while eliminating financial barriers for interested candidates. The 18-month graduate program will serve approximately 30 aspiring educators each year for five years. It will ensure participants obtain a single subject credential with a focus in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) and earn a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in curriculum and instruction. Participants receive a $28,000 stipend for living expenses and are eligible for additional compensation for agreeing to work in a Visalia school after earning a teaching credential.
“Rural communities are acutely impacted by the teacher shortage,” said Donna Glassman-Sommer, executive director of the California Center on Teaching Careers. “By working together, we are eliminating barriers into the profession, preparing a diverse cohort of teachers, and offering incentives to retain these educators in our classrooms.”
The TRRE project aims to provide a blueprint that education professionals can use to create a pipeline of teachers who will support California students for years to come. The TRRE project is primarily funded through the Teacher Quality Partnership Grant Program; however, the National Center on Teacher Residency, the Bank Street School, Visalia Unified School District, Stanford Teacher Education Program, and a cadre of community-based partners have also contributed toward this program.
Those interested in applying to the TRRE Program, which will begin its first cohort in the fall of 2020, are encouraged to contact Donna Glassman-Sommer at [email protected], or visit www.thecenter-trreproject.org/sign-up to submit an inquiry form for details about an online informational meeting.