Highly successful effort bolsters teacher qualifications, addresses teacher shortages across the region
The Indiana University Northwest School of Education announced a newly formed partnership with the School City of Hammond (SCOH) to improve the educational outcomes of the city’s students by training K-12 teachers currently working on emergency permits. The SCOH joins the Gary Community School Corporation and the School City of East Chicago in offering IU Northwest’s Urban Teacher Preparation Program (UTEP) as a path to full licensure.
The partnership provides reimbursement to teachers for associated educational expenses, including tuition and textbooks. There are currently dozens of Gary and East Chicago teachers taking advantage of the UTEP curriculum, preparing them to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Education and become fully licensed in 18 to 24 months. Participating teachers must have earned a bachelor’s degree in another area of study and agree to remain with their school districts for a minimum of three years upon graduation.
According to Chancellor Ken Iwama, the UTEP partnership program is the only teaching excellence initiative in Northwest Indiana, now serving two of the most populous cities in the state. “With nearly 22,000 K-12 students enrolled in these three school corporations, the UTEP program has immediate potential to strengthen the quality of teaching and make a lasting impact on the quality of life in the region,” he said.
Mark Sperling, dean of the School of Education, pointed to the program’s focus on outstanding classroom preparedness, and requirement to continue teaching in local schools, as improving educational outcomes. “While the teachers certainly benefit from the professional growth provided by UTEP, it is their students who gain the most. Studies have shown that the key to high levels of student achievement is strong and competitive teacher preparation,” he said.
Most classes are offered in the evenings or online to accommodate teachers’ work schedules. Areas of licensure include:
• Social Studies (History +)
• Science (Biology, Chemistry, Earth-Space Science)
• Visual Arts
Teachers in all three districts are invited to apply for the spring 2022 semester. To learn more, contact the IU Northwest School of Education at 219-980-6510 or email Dr. Sperling at .