Sumner County Schools Announces Free Teacher Certification Program

Advocate Andy

Residents with a bachelor's degree are eligible for free certification in certain fields

Officials with Sumner County Schools have announced that area residents who possess a bachelor's degree could be eligible for a free master's degree and teacher certification. The program is offered as a way to address a growing shortage of qualified teacher candidates. It is a part of the State of Tennessee's "Grow Your Own" initiative, designed to allow local school districts flexibility in identifying and certifying teacher candidates.

According to an email sent by the Sumner County Schools Central Office, anyone with a bachelor's degree is eligible to be considered for the program. The certification program includes master's level coursework in teacher preparation as well as training under a mentor teacher.

Sumner County mentions it is specifically looking for candidates in the following areas:

K-5, ELL, Special Education, or Math/ELA 6-12.

Justin Alexander, who coordinates teacher recruitment for Sumner County, says the district will hold an interest meeting in December.

That meeting will be held on December 1st at 5:00 PM in the gym located at the Central Office, 695 East Main Street in Gallatin.

The certification is fully funded by state education dollars and offered at no cost to potential teachers seeking certification.

According to the Tennessee Department of Education:

"Tennessee’s Apprenticeship Model aligns leading practices in teacher preparation and development with the rigors and funding of the national registered apprenticeship process. A Registered Apprenticeship Program is a proven model of professional training that has been validated by either the USDOL or a State Apprenticeship Agency. Tennessee’s Teacher Occupation Apprenticeship was the first of its kind federally registered through the USDOL, meeting national quality standards that are hallmarks for both employers and job seeking apprentices."

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Andy Spears is a middle Tennessee writer and policy advocate. He reports on news around public policy issues - education, health care, consumer protection, and more.

Nashville, TN

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