CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (TN Tribune) – In 2018, Austin Peay State University’s Eriksson College of Education developed an innovative partnership with the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System (CMCSS) to provide 20 recent high school graduates and 20 CMCSS teacher’s aides with an accelerated, free path to become full-time school system teachers in just three years. That initiative – the Grow Your Own Residency Program – proved so successful that it was eventually adopted by colleges of education and school districts across the state. On Jan. 13, Tennessee became the first state to be approved by the U.S.
Department of Labor to establish a permanent Grow Your Own model, with the state’s Department of Education announcing that CMCSS and APSU would offer the first registered apprenticeship program for teaching in the country. An effort is now underway to offer these programs across the country with the creation of the National Center for Grow Your Own, a new nonprofit organization that will provide technical assistance to states and school systems looking to adopt Grow Your Own programs.
The organization recently named one of the founders of the original program – Dr. Prentice Chandler, dean of APSU’s Eriksson College of Education – to its Board of Advisors.
“It’s great to see the work that we are doing at Austin Peay get adopted by others across Tennessee and the nation,” Chandler said. “This movement has the potential to fundamentally change the way we prepare and recruit teachers while also reducing the teacher shortage, increasing diversity in the teaching force and ensuring high-quality teachers in our nation’s classrooms. This work represents the future of teacher education. I am glad to be a part of this team.”
Other members of the organization’s Board of Advisors include:
- Dr. Karen Mapp, senior lecturer and faculty director at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
- Dr. Andrés Alonso, former CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools and professor of practice at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
- Dr. Jerri Haynes, dean of the Tennessee State University College of Education.
- Dr. Jacqueline Rodriguez, vice president of research, policy and advocacy at the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.
“We are incredibly excited to have Dean Chandler serving on the advisory board for the National Center for Grow Your Own,” David Donaldson, the center’s managing partner, said. “He is a leading innovator in higher education in this country. More importantly, he is a person of his word and has always been solutions focused, especially when it comes to addressing the national teacher shortage. The National Center for Grow Your Own will look to support other states and districts partnering with educator preparation providers based on the incredible work Dean Chandler leads at Austin Peay State University.”
For more information about APSU’s Eriksson College of Education, visit https://www.apsu.edu/education/.