RALEIGH – Teachers of Tomorrow recently announced that the North Carolina State Board of Education unanimously approved their application to become a new Teacher Residency program in the state.
The state legislature created the teacher residency route for educator preparation programs to replace the lateral entry license during 2017 through Senate Bill 599 while also creating a more rigorous review process for new program applications.
The program is designed to help alleviate critical teacher shortages in the state.
According to North Carolina Title II reports, there has been a significant decrease in enrollments in educator preparation programs in the state. Enrollment dropped from 20,235 in 2012 to 14,318 in 2014.
“While North Carolina continues to recruit teachers to our state, we are constantly trying to fill the void of hard to staff positions in every LEA. We need to provide every avenue and opportunity for skilled candidates to access innovative educator preparation programs,” stated Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, who also sits on the State Board of Education. “The policy we unanimously passed at the Board meeting last week is a very productive step forward for North Carolina, enabling our school districts the ability to attain a whole new crop of teacher candidates that can provide every child with an excellent teacher.”
Teachers of Tomorrow worked closely with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction to ensure the program will meet all state requirements and is aligned to all state standards during the new program approval process. The Teachers of Tomorrow application was peer reviewed by North Carolina experts to ensure the program meets those standards.
Among other attributes cited by the State Board of Education in the discussion was the fact that Teachers of Tomorrow continues to move forward on approval by the Council of Accreditation of Educator Preparation and has already secured school district partnerships in North Carolina.
“Teachers always have been and always will be the most important part of the classroom,” said North Carolina Superintendent Mark Johnson. “Programs such as North Carolina Teachers of Tomorrow will help us recruit more great teachers to North Carolina classrooms and improve student outcomes.”
While North Carolina Teachers of Tomorrow is now fully approved as a program by the State Board, DPI must approve all subject areas for potential teachers. That approval process will begin later in the month and throughout August.
“Our focus has always been helping districts ensure they have the talent they need for their schools,” said Dave Saba, Chief Development Officer of Teachers of Tomorrow. “We are honored to be a part of this new process and begin helping more great people realize their dream of teaching in a North Carolina classroom.”