SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - If you’ve ever dreamed of being a teacher, the Mississippi Department of Education is inviting you to apply for its two-year residency program. Two school districts on the Coast are participating in the program, which will combine coursework and on-the-job training to prepare educators for the teaching profession.
The Mississippi Teacher Residency program will select 35 teachers total from throughout the state. Four districts in Mississippi are participating, including Ocean Springs and Gulfport school districts.
The program is designed for those who want to become a teacher but are not currently enrolled in an educator preparation program at a four-year college or university. Applicants must have at least 60 college credits from a degree program or an accredited associate's degree.
The Department of Education will take applications from Feb. 15 to March 15. People of color, veterans, and community college students are strongly encouraged to apply.
The MTR is part of a statewide strategy to expand and diversify the teacher pipeline so that all students have teachers who are well-prepared, appropriately licensed and can serve as role models. The project is funded by a $4.1 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
Teacher residents will complete a two-year undergraduate elementary education and special education program while working alongside an experienced teacher mentor in one of the four participating districts. Residents will receive a full scholarship funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and may receive a housing allowance through the AmeriCorps program.
Participants who successfully complete the MTR program and pass required licensure exams will receive a three-year educator license. Residents must commit to teaching for three years in the district where they completed their residency.
“The Mississippi Teacher Residency program will create a new pathway for educators to enter the profession and get the support they need to be successful,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education. “Innovative models such as teacher residency programs are needed to address the national and statewide teacher shortage.”
The W.K. Kellogg grant will also fund a performance-based licensure pilot program, which will help a select group of Mississippi teachers with provisional licenses become fully licensed. The program is aimed at teachers who have proven to be effective in the classroom but are struggling to pass licensure exams. Recruitment for the performance-based licensure pilot program will begin in March.
For more information and for a complete list of MTR program requirements, visit https://mdek12.org/OTL/MTR.