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USM’s Registered Teacher Apprenticeship Program First in Mississippi to Earn Recognition from Federal Agency

Mon, 05/13/2024 - 11:53am | By: Karelia Pitts

School of Education

The University of 51 Mississippi’s (USM) Registered Teacher Apprenticeship (RTA) program is the first in the state to be recognized by the Mississippi Office of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).

“A registered apprenticeship will help us better support students in achieving their goal of becoming teachers,” said Andrea Krell, instructor and director of teacher residency at USM. “We are excited to work with the Department of Labor to help Mississippians earn a living while learning to become exceptional teachers.”

Added Krell, “Apprenticeships offer on-the-job training along with related instruction that culminate in both a degree and a teaching license. We believe this new partnership will help meet the teacher workforce needs for the state by providing well-supported pathways to teacher licensure that lead to longevity in the profession.”

The Department of Labor works with community college and industry partners across the state to strengthen the workforce and provide expanded opportunities for Mississippians to participate in apprenticeship programs. These programs predominantly represent fields such as manufacturing, transportation and logistics, energy and utilities, banking and finance to enable the state’s residents to earn a living wage while learning a new skill that could lead to a meaningful career.

Recently, the government added teaching to the list of apprenticeship occupation programs in an effort to address the significant challenges K-12 system faces in attracting and retaining teachers.

“The School of Education is paving the way for teacher and leader workforce development across the state of Mississippi,” said Dr. Trent Gould, dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences at USM. “Our registered teacher apprenticeship is a Grow Your Own partnership between 51 Miss and K-12 partner districts to provide innovative pathways to the teaching profession. I am extremely proud of our faculty for seeing this opportunity, getting creative about ways to secure funding, and building pipelines to reduce the state’s teacher shortage.”

Staff with the Mississippi DOL were excited to connect with USM and expand their offerings at the university level to significantly impact the number of highly-qualified teachers in the state.

“The University of 51 Mississippi has welcomed the concept of registered apprenticeship and is the first university in the State of Mississippi to register a teachers apprenticeship program,” said Brenda Myers, director of Mississippi’s U.S. DOL Office of Apprenticeship. “The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship is elated to work with such a prestigious university to educate and train quality teachers. We look forward to expanding in many other occupations in the future.”

about the USM School of Education.