Obenchain, Barce receive IDOE grant to address state’s teacher shortages
The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) announced recipients of $10.6 million in funding to aid Indiana’s schools and community partners in supporting local initiatives to attract and retain educators across the state – including researchers in the College of Education.
“We received an IDOE Attract, Prepare, Retain Grant for $916,453,” said Kathryn Obenchain (PI), College of Education associate dean for learning, engagement and global initiatives and professor of Social Studies Education. “The purpose of this grant application is to expand our pilot efforts to more schools and more licensure areas.”
Her Co-PI on the grant is Jennifer Barce, assistant dean for teacher education.
This expanded program is titled the “1-2-1 Grow-Your-Own Teacher Pipeline Program” (121 GYO), where 1-2-1 stands for the traditional four years of a pre-service teacher education preparation program.
In the pilot 121 GYO program, the equivalent of the first year of a teacher preparation program is accomplished before full-time campus residency through a combination of dual credit courses, CLEP and AP credits, online courses, and a four-week summer program on Purdue’s campus. The second two years are accomplished traditionally on Purdue’s campus along with all other teacher education students. The final fourth year is accomplished through a year-long, two-semester student teaching residency in the student’s home community and under the supervision of a mentor teacher who has participated in high-quality professional development on mentoring best practices. Besides bringing students back to their home communities, this plan significantly reduces the cost of college as there are limited to no tuition costs in year one and no housing costs in the first and fourth year.
The new expanded program will extend the 121 GYO pilot program for elementary and special education programs to additional rural school districts, and will expand to secondary level content area licensure programs, with an emphasis on the STEM areas, as Purdue continues to roll out its revised curriculum and in anticipation of two semester/full year student teaching beginning in the fall of 2024.
The College’s program partners include five schools from four school corporations: Tippecanoe School Corporation (TSC), Frontier School Corporation, Clinton Central School Corporation, and Whitley County School Corporation. Three of these corporations are designated as rural schools.
“We have intentionally chosen partners in rural districts as our focal schools to pilot and expand the 121 GYO program in order to increase the number of rural and first-generation students as well as other underrepresented populations enrolling in educator preparation programs,” Obenchain said. “Although all schools are experiencing teacher shortages, rural schools are currently facing extra challenges in recruiting and retaining teachers. Bringing local youth back to their communities as teachers is a high priority for all of our partners.”
The Attract, Prepare, Retain Grant is designed to aid Indiana’s schools and community partners in supporting local initiatives to attract and retain educators in school buildings across the state.
“The recipients of this grant understand the challenges of today’s labor market and know that schools and community partners must work together to find creative methods for recruiting and retaining Indiana’s very best educators,” said Dr. Katie Jenner, Indiana Secretary of Education.
Sources: Kathryn Obenchain, firstname.lastname@example.org; IDOE press release “Indiana Department of Education Announces Recipients of Grant to Support Educator Pipeline”