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GSW looking to combat teacher shortage with top rated program

Video from WALB
Published: May. 21, 2022 at 12:25 PM EDT
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AMERICUS, Ga. (WALB) -Georgia Southwestern State University’s education program has earned national recognition as they were named top in the country for its undergraduate elementary teacher preparation program, but the good news doesn’t stop there.

The college also just received its reaccreditation.

The Undergraduate elementary teacher preparation program is just 1 of 79 programs that earned an A+ rating in the nation.

Faculty and staff believe the great news will combat the teacher shortage happening not just in Georgia but nationwide.

Rachel Abbott, dean of the education program at GSW, said both accomplishments mean that the college met all six Georgia standards. She also said the review from the National Council on Teacher Quality identified two strengths in the program which were clinical practice and technology.

Both are strengths the college hopes to use towards developing lots of new educators.

“This will really help us and those students and families looking for colleges as well as our current teachers that are looking to come back and get an upgrade on their certificate and seek higher level graduate work,” she said.

Abbott is proud of the work that's been done at the college to gain a top rating for the...
Abbott is proud of the work that's been done at the college to gain a top rating for the educational program.(WALB)

The educational program consists of internships, certification training, and more that will foster the next generation of educators.

Abbott mentioned the educational program sees 60 undergraduates graduate from the program each year.

“We do a lot of placements with our teacher candidates in this region a lot of them then will get jobs right before they even graduate and finish their student teaching,” she said.

One of those hopeful graduates is Kelly Skipper who is in her senior year at GSW and will graduate in Spring 2023. She said the program has helped her to manage being a full-time mom while also gaining her education.

Skipper said after graduation she plans to come back for her master's.
Skipper said after graduation she plans to come back for her master's.(WALB)

“The college here really works hard to make sure all of us succeed at what we’re doing. The college professors here make sure that we have everything that we need for when we go out into the field and work with students, so I feel very prepared,” she said.

Anyone interested in learning more about GSW’s college of education programs should visit their website at gsw.edu.

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