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USM, William Carey among Mississippi universities to receive teacher retention program grant

Five Mississippi universities receive grant for teacher retention program.
Five Mississippi universities receive grant for teacher retention program.(WDAM)
Published: Dec. 21, 2021 at 8:08 PM CST
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - The Mississippi Department of Education has awarded nearly $10 million to five different Mississippi universities to establish a teacher mentor retention program.

Southern Miss and William Carey University join Delta State University, Jackson State University and Mississippi State University as institutes of higher learning receiving funding from the grant.

These programs are made to increase the potential for teachers in Mississippi and fill more than 3,000 vacant teaching jobs throughout the Magnolia State.

“For those residents, it’s covering all of their tuition, a livable stipend for them, all of their textbook costs and all of their testing fees that lead up to licensure,” said USM’s Dean of the College of Education and Human Science, Dr. Trent Gould. “For those mentor teachers, it’s providing them coverage for their professional development and it’s covering a stipend for them as well.”

The mentor program allows for the teaching students to mentor a teacher for an entire school year, rather than a semester. This lets the students get a full scope of what teaching is like.

Both WCU and USM representatives hope the extended times will allow for these students to learn whether they want to teach, preventing them from leaving within their first few years.

“This is something that’s never-ending, and it’s something that we do as our work. We’re excited about this grant, we are encouraged that we have that support and we’re also working to have a plan to sustain that,” said WCU’s Dean of Education, Dr. Teresa Poole. “It’s not something that we want to see happen as an event, but a way to change the way we look at recruitment and retention of teachers.”

The retention programs will kick off in the summer semester of 2022.

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