SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The âGrowâ program is for high school and college students interested in a career in education.
Students will come to Missouri State University (MSU) to earn a degree in education. Upon graduation, they will return to a Springfield Public Schools (SPS) classroom to teach.
âThey will come here to MSU and they will receive financial support from the school district as well as from MSU,â said Acting Dean of the College of Education, Dr Barri Tinkler. âThe university will provide that and the school district will provide tuition assistance in the form of forgivable loans. Students will receive this financial support after graduation. They will go back to the school district and teach. Then they basically repay those loans, staying in the district for several years after completing a degree program. “
High school students in their junior or senior year would begin a program before moving on to MSU.
âOur students would actually be part of a teacher preparation program or a career path in their high school,â said SPS Superintendent Dr. Grenita Lathan. âThey will be exposed to various areas of education. [For example], introduction to education and introduction to child psychology. All of these courses would vary based on the different opportunities and recommendations we receive.
MSU students in their last two years can also participate in the “Grow Your Own” program.
âWe have a designated pot of money called Access Scholarships which is designed specifically for students who aren’t typically college students or who are first generation students from an environment where they don’t have much access. financing resources. or students of color, âsaid Dr. Tinkler. “We are extending this pot of funds to these Springfield Public School students.”
With a nationwide teacher shortage, both educators hope this will keep prospective teachers close to home.
âIt’s not like having someone who has that personal connection to our neighborhood in our city. Dr Lathan said. âWe are really excited that our students have this opportunity and that we have been able to keep the people and future teachers here in Springfield. “
âFor many teachers, when they leave school and enter the teaching profession, it’s not a well-paying job,â said Dr Tinkle. âThe best thing we can do is help ease this debt burden. It is very helpful for them to make this transition to their first teaching position successfully.
The initiative will begin in the fall of 2022.