NC Teaching Fellows program launches district pilot recruitment initiative in Haywood, Henderson counties

Press release from the University of North Carolina System

The North Carolina Teaching Fellows Commission has selected 20 public school districts to receive $50,000 recruitment grants in 2024 to promote Teaching Fellows and the teaching profession.

The launch of the grant initiative is a strategic effort to create a pipeline of applicants and potential teachers to work in North Carolina districts that face recruitment and retention challenges. Districts were selected after expressing interest in expanding or building a grow-your-own teacher program.

As a part of the pilot initiative, students will receive professional development support in conjunction with the Teaching Fellows program. The goal is to identify and train emerging teachers from secondary schools, current employees, or non-traditional sectors toward employment in the district.

Bennett Jones, director of the North Carolina Teaching Fellows program, said the organization is proud to offer grants to increase interest in the teaching profession.

“One area of focus in the Teaching Fellows statute is to be proactive, aggressive, and strategic in the recruitment of potential recipients,” Jones said. “This includes targeting regions of the state with the highest teacher attrition rates and teacher recruitment challenges through active engagement with educators, business leaders, experts in human resources, elected officials, and other community leaders. By marketing the Teaching Fellows program in more rural and remote areas, we hope to expand our outreach to recruit the best teacher candidates from all over the state.”

The grants will support recruitment activities that districts will outline in their approved plans with the Teaching Fellows program. The grant is renewable for three years. Districts in the pilot will collaborate to share best practices to enhance teacher recruitment. They will collect and share data to help formulate recommendations for consideration at the local and state level to improve teacher pipelines.

The selected districts represent all eight Department of Public Instruction regions and vary from small to large districts. Special consideration was given to border districts and districts with specific recruitment challenges such as being close to districts that offer higher local teacher supplements.

The Teaching Fellows program is a competitive, merit-based forgivable loan program providing tuition assistance of up to $10,000 per year for qualified students committed to teaching elementary education, special education, science, technology, engineering, or math in a North Carolina public school. The purpose of the program is to recruit, prepare and support future teachers who attend institutions of higher education in North Carolina.The following districts have received pilot recruitment grants for 2024:

Brunswick County Schools
Caldwell County Schools
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
Chatham County Schools
Clinton City Schools
Edgecombe County Schools
Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public Schools
Gaston County Schools
Granville County Public Schools
Harnett County Schools
Haywood County Schools
Henderson County Public Schools
Perquimans County School System
Person County Schools
Rockingham County Schools
Rowan-Salisbury School System
Sampson County Schools
Wayne County Public Schools
Weldon City Schools
Yadkin County Schools

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