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Edgewood College Offers Innovative Solution to Address Teacher Shortage

The number of qualified teachers continues to shrink in the state of Wisconsin. Last fall, Edgewood College launched an Accelerated Teacher License Residency Partnership in direct response to that shortage.

This “Grow Your Own” concept presents a convenient pathway for school districts to tackle shortages and ensure teachers in their classrooms are qualified and prepared, now, and well into the future.

With more than forty partnering school districts, this program allows district employees to earn both a master’s degree and Wisconsin Teaching License. It is specifically tailored for emergency-licensed teachers (Tier 1), career changers, recent college graduates, and working adults. School districts that take advantage of this program should expect to see an increase in the number of licensed teachers, higher teacher satisfaction, and positive impacts on teacher retention.

Edgewood College extends a 45 percent reduced tuition rate to partnering school district employees, making the total program cost $9,750 for a 30-credit master’s degree. Aspiring teachers are paired with a teaching mentor and gain hands-on experience in the physical classroom setting—from day one. Coursework is fully online and delivered asynchronously. This allows participants to complete the program in as few as twelve months while simultaneously student-teaching.

“Over the past decade Wisconsin has seen a marked increase in the number of emergency teaching licenses issued by districts to address classroom shortages,” said Edgewood College President Andrew P. Manion. “This initiative extends the mission of Edgewood College in a way that both honors our identity and heritage, and leverages technology to respond to the needs of today.”

Students can expect a high-quality student teaching experience within a supportive collaboration between Edgewood College and the sponsoring school district. This accelerated journey reduces costs and time commitment while preserving quality in the learning experience. As a  mission-driven strategy, this program creates an essential focus that will ultimately benefit all children in that district.