Congratulations to our 3 awardees of the AAEE Mini-Grant. We received many AMAZING submissions and are excited and encouraged to see innovative programs being created across the country. Thank you to all of our applicants! Without further ado, please help us congratulate our 3 recipients of the 2019-2020 AAEE Mini-Grant!
College on the Horizon! targets three key goals. First, to highlight the teaching profession through our College and Career Academy and provide students with greater exposure to college campuses and the various Education Programs. Second, build the confidence of our students and build the soft skills needed to network, research, and select the best program, and finally, forge greater collaboration between the Academy and the district recruiter to support the teaching pipeline and provide wrap-around support for our future educators.
College on the Horizon will be the catalyst for the continuing to support the teaching pipeline. The idea of campus exposure may not seem innovative to some but for "first generation" college students, it is groundbreaking. The AAEE Conference really motivated Fulton to work in greater collaboration with our College and Career Academy partners. Partnering with our local higher education partners will also expose of students to the various campus resources.
Calvert County Public Schools is planning a summit to promote their Teacher Academy of Maryland (TAM) program. The TAM program is a high school program that consists of four core teacher education courses and an internship in a local school. The main goal is to recruit prospective 8th grade and 9th grade students to enroll in the TAM program. The summit will have meaningful breakout sessions that cover topics of importance, such as the benefits of becoming a teacher, team building strategies, and the opportunities the TAM program provides, including scholarships. In addition Dr. Richard Warren, the current Maryland Teacher of the Year, will be the main speaker. The day will include recruiters from Maryland colleges who will explain their teacher education programs so students can begin to understand the process and create a manageable plan. Approximately 20 eighth grade students from each of the six middle schools will attend along with 20 ninth graders and all current TAM students from each of the four high schools. The program will reach approximately 250 students.
This initiative addresses the pending teacher shortage and a need to "grow our own," with consideration for increasing the number of males and students of color who participate. In 2017, the state had 2,140 TAM students enrolled. Since 2013 the enrollments have ranged from 1,736 to 2,140 in 22 districts, so this confirms room for growth. As a small, rural county we strongly believe that we must inspire students about the teacher academy program before they choose high school courses. Ultimately, they will be well informed and well versed in the opportunities available for TAM students, including scholarships.
The benefits are immense. Current TAM students will be provided with a day of educational support. Eighth and ninth grade students will be well informed about the TAM program so they can make plans to register before they complete high school registration forms. Educators benefit by increased enrollment in the current TAM programs and classrooms benefit because additional TAM students will be interns in local classrooms. The community will benefit because students will see the value in teaching and commit to a profession that supports all others.
The Calvert County TAM Team hosted over 100 eighth and ninth grade students at the College of Southern Maryland on Wednesday, January 15, 2020. The Maryland State teacher of the year was our speaker, students attended interactive break out sessions, and visited with college representatives. Preliminary survey results show that students are more likely to consider the TAM program and teaching in the future.
"Thank you for the grant! We immensely appreciate your support for recruiting educators." - Dr. Melanie Sanchez
Pinellas County Schools currently has several paraprofessionals in the classroom working under a teacher as support that hold an associate degree. The district is interested in working with St. Petersburg College to enroll these paraprofessionals in a “Paraprofessional to Professional Bachelor Degrees” program so they can graduate and work as a classroom teacher in the same district where they currently hold a position. We are looking to focus on positions that bridge the gap, such as minorities and Exceptional Student Education.
There is a teacher shortage across the nation and to address this problem within the Pinellas County School district, paraprofessionals who hold an associate degree will enter into a cohort with a local college that allow them to work full time and take classes part-time in effort to graduate with a bachelor's degree within a three year time frame. The idea of "growing your own" allows two significant issues to be resolved: fulfill the teacher shortage and enhance the educational and economic opportunity for paraprofessionals within the county.
The purpose of the AAEE Mini-Grant Program is to highlight and support innovative efforts by school districts to improve the pipeline of teachers into their districts and into the profession. These mini-grants are designed to help begin or sustain programs designed to inspire students to consider a career in teaching.
Funding for these mini-grants comes from generous donations from our Partners in Education Sponsors and the continuous efforts of AAEE to provide resources and benefits to education professionals.
AAEE will award grants to school district programs within the United States. The AAEE Mini-Grant Committee will consider proposals from school districts and individual school programs in the United States.
We appreciate and encourage creative and unique initiatives that’s purposes are to:
Increase interest in the teaching profession
Increase the supply of teachers
Increase the diversity of teachers
Eligible projects are those that engage and encourage middle or high school-aged students to explore the possibility of a career in teaching.