VSU receives federal funding to address teacher shortage
Valdosta State University plans to use the $750,000 in federal funding to expand rural teacher pipeline
VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - Valdosta State University (VSU) received $750,000 in federal funding to help address the need for more teachers across South Georgia.
The funds will be used to expand its rural teacher pipeline by providing scholarships and other support to paraprofessionals who wish to earn a Bachelor of Science in Education in Elementary Education through the university’s Online College for Advancement.
Education experts say classrooms are overcrowded and school districts are struggling to recruit certified professionals.
VSU is Georgia’s only public institution of higher education that offers an online Bachelor of Science in Education in Elementary Education, according to university officials. Enrollment in this program has increased nearly 323% from Fall 2021 to Fall 2022.
“Schools and students need quality teachers now more than ever, and this program focusing on helping paraprofessionals — who already have substantial prior experience in classrooms — earn their teaching credentials makes sense,” said Dr. David Slykhuis, dean of the James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education and Human Services.
Some 8.9 million American school children attend rural schools, according to the National Council of State Legislatures. One in four schools in America is considered rural.
“VSU is incredibly thankful that our lawmakers in Washington, D.C., recognize the work we are doing to address the teacher shortage,” Dr. Richard Carvajal, VSU president, said.
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