Thanks to a grant from the Ohio Department of Higher Education, Wright State University will collaborate with the Montgomery County Educational Service Center, Miami University, Central State University and the University of Dayton to increase diversity in the teaching profession, while addressing the K–12 teacher shortage in the Dayton area, which has been intensified by the global pandemic.
Dusty Columbia Embury, Ed.D., associate professor of teacher education at Wright State, said that this $375,000 grant will allow the institutions to focus on supporting individuals who want to be teachers.
She said that the project targets BIPOC (Black, Indigenous or people of color) students and professionals who want a career in high-need areas such as STEM education and intervention.
“We are prioritizing people who are within one to two years of completing their degrees with a particular focus on candidates who already work with students in the school system and who are committed to teaching in the Dayton area for three to five years,” she said.
Columbia Embury said that this could be paraprofessionals, substitute teachers who have degrees in other fields or other staff employed at school districts who have completed two to three years of college, which would allow them to complete a teaching degree within one to two years.
The focus will also include individuals who were teaching but then were unable to return to their positions due to child care, illnesses or dependent care due to the pandemic and have let their teaching licenses expire.
Partner school districts include Centerville, Dayton Public Schools, Jefferson, Mad River, Montgomery County Educational Service Center, Middletown, Northmont, Oakwood, Trotwood and West Carrollton.
The grant will provide participants with scholarships that can be used flexibly with other sources of funding for which they are eligible, such as Pell grants and Ohio College Opportunity Grants. Scholarships can be used for tuition as well as books, licensure exam fees and other supplies.
Interested students and professionals can learn more about the opportunities made available through this grant at I Educate Dayton Region.