The program aims to diversify the teaching staff
The leaders of the Schenectady City School District, SUNY Schenectady, Cazenovia College and Clarkson University officially announced at a press conference on November 23, 2021, a partnership and pathway program “Grow Your Own ”for students from Schenectady schools who wish to become teachers. The program provides transparent educational access and the opportunity for underserved and historically underrepresented students to pursue an academic pathway to three degrees, starting in high school, giving certification in teaching and taking a teaching position at Schenectady. It also provides financial assistance, resources, mentoring, support and more. Students, starting in grade three, will have the opportunity to learn more about the teaching profession, explore their interests and, eventually, begin the program journey.
The aim of the program is to develop our own teachers by generating interest in the teaching profession through clubs and explorations in the early grades, and then providing the path, resources and opportunities that give students a good start and guide them through the process. and a career. It serves to remove obstacles and provide a clear path of support. Schenectady’s Colleges have established Teachers of Tomorrow clubs to help ignite and keep students engaged and interested in the profession. The district plans to expand these possibilities.
There are four stages on the way. Students at Schenectady High School begin their journey by taking classes at SUNY Schenectady while simultaneously completing their high school work, giving them the opportunity to earn credits and an associate degree before the scheduled date. Enrollment in the Smart Transfer Early College High School Program (ST-ECHS) in Grade 9 would lead to taking college courses in Grade 11 and earning an associate’s degree in high school. An alternative route is available for students who wish to enroll in the Teacher Education Transfer Program at SUNY Schenectady after graduation.
Once a student completes their Associate Degree at SUNY Schenectady, they will move on to Cazenovia College to earn a bachelor’s degree and initial dual certification in Childhood Education and Teaching Students with Disabilities.
Qualified students who successfully complete their BA at Cazenovia College will be offered automatic admission to the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) curriculum at Clarkson University, where they can earn a master’s degree.
The Teacher Pathway program aims to increase the diversity of the district’s workforce by encouraging Schenectady students to learn about the teaching profession, take a step down the path, and be guided through of the process. The end goal is for them to return to the school district as educators.
“I am honored and grateful to be here today with our university partners to announce this incredible opportunity for our students,” said Anibal Soler, Jr., Superintendent of the Schenectady School District. “We are delighted and look forward to our students coming back to us as educators. We are all working together. It is a perfect example of community partners coming together to provide access and opportunities to our students, which strengthens our schools and our community.
“It’s wonderful to play a role in this new partnership, as SUNY Schenectady joins the Schenectady City School District, Cazenovia College and Clarkson University to provide future teachers with the opportunity to graduate here at home and then stay in the area to educate students at Schenectady, ”said Dr Steady Moono, President of SUNY Schenectady. “This is an affordable and accessible way for students to realize their dreams of joining the teaching profession, which will benefit Schenectady’s schools and students for years to come.
“We are thrilled to be a member of the Grow Your Own partnership dedicated to the important work of creating educational opportunities for under-represented populations in the Schenectady City School District to pursue a career in education,” said Ron Chesbrough, President of Cazenovia College. “Our undergraduate education programs offered at SUNY Schenectady prepare students for initial dual teacher certification in early childhood or elementary education, as well as certification for special education. The combination of the dual certification with a Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages at Clarkson University will provide well-prepared teachers for schools in the town of Schenectady.
“This program will have a positive impact on the community, as it will lead to an increase in the number of teachers in the school and an increase in the number of teachers from historically under-represented groups,” said Catherine Snyder, chair of the department. Clarkson Education. “Clarkson is proud to be part of this initiative to provide a Master of Arts in Teaching that will complete a Growing Your Own student’s journey to a career in teaching. “
Students enrolled in the course will benefit from mentoring, coaching and financial assistance throughout the process.
The Grow Your Own course is immediately underway.