Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

New UA program aims to encourage students to become teachers

CW / Riley Thompson
The Tuscaloosa City Board of Education building.

The University of Alabama College of Education is creating a pipeline for high schoolers wanting to go into the education field. 

Teach in Bama is a partner program with Alabama school districts that encourages high school students, primarily juniors, to enroll in the College of Education and eventually become teachers. 

Although school districts that partner with this program are asked to cover the costs of required UA Early College classes and summer programs for Teach in Bama students, each district has the freedom to set its terms for funding directly with the students. Students may also qualify for additional UA scholarships. 

For example, students in Tuscaloosa City Schools who enroll in the Teach in Bama program will be given a $5,000 scholarship to help pay program fees.  

The scholarship covers an early college class in the fall and spring, book allowances, and the residential program. 

Then, when former TCS students graduate from the University, they must work as a teacher in the TCS district for two years.  

“I think it’s a win-win,” Deron Cameron, the assistant superintendent of operations at TCS, said. “We really hope we get as many TCS students as we can, because we will hire them as soon as they come out. … The more the merrier, and it can only benefit our fellow teachers, our students and certainly our parents.” 

There are multiple stages in the program that must be completed while the student is in high school. 

To be eligible, high school students must complete the University of Alabama Early College 200 College Readiness online course, take a fall and spring UAEC class, attend the Teach in Bama summer institute, and complete the UAEC summer residential program. The program will target students with GPAs of 3.0 or higher. 

“Students who complete at least 12 hours of University credit and earn a 3.0+ GPA will receive priority consideration for eight semesters of full tuition through the UA In-State Competitive Admissions Scholarship,” according to the project description. 

“We’ve done a lot of research on what’s effective, what other states are doing with their institutions, and I think we put it together,” said Carlton McHargh, the director of enrollment and student success in the College of Education.  

Teach in Bama has been in the works for over a year. The program’s goal is to increase the number of students pursuing degrees in education. 

Between the 2009-10 and 2018-19 academic years, there was a 24% decrease nationwide in education graduates, according to the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. 

Similarly, according to the College of Education, UA has seen a 26% decrease in teacher-education enrollment since 2013. 

“We see this as being able to provide a significant pipeline into the vacancies that are currently existing,” McHargh said. “As the College of Education, it’s one of our primary missions.”  

Tuscaloosa Career and Technology Academy, which is a part of TCS, has created its own program in support of Teach in Bama, called the Education and Training Program, which also started this year. 

Any TCS high school student can get involved in the Education and Training Program. Those enrolled will take a “foundation in education” class as a test run to see if they want to go into the education field. 

This program was made to help with the teacher shortage, Cameron said. 

“We are very excited about this new Teach in Bama program,” Carolyn Lowery, the education and training instructor at TCTA, said. “This is a way that Tuscaloosa city students can enroll and get hands-on experience and I can work with them as their instructor to hopefully get them interested and excited about this opportunity at the University so that we can get the prerequisites they need.” 

As the TCTA program continues, students will take education-related courses in preparation for enrolling in Teach in Bama. The University will then help students enroll in the education major. 

“We want the best and brightest, and we know Alabama leads in developing teachers,” Cameron said. 

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