The Caldwell Early College High School has been selected as one of four schools in the state to participate in the new lateral entry teacher certification program for mid-career professionals and recent college graduates interested in becoming high school science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) teachers. The Caldwell Early College gets the benefit of participating first in this cost-free, non-traditional teacher prep program administered by the North Carolina New Schools Project (NCNSP) and supported by a federal Transition to Teacher grant.
The Department of Education has awarded $12.8 million to 30 proposals in the first year of the five-year commitment to the Transition to Teaching Program, including nearly $420,000 to the NC New Schools Project. NCNSP's initiative will focus on training teachers in innovative and effective instruction in STEM subjects considered critical for strong high school preparation in the 21st century.
"Caldwell Early College High School is proud to be a part of this program that will encourage more people to enter the teaching fields of science and math," said Candis Hagaman, principal of Caldwell Early College High School.
The Early College High School will host the first cohort of STEM teacher-trainees. Under the Transition to Teaching initiative, teacher apprenticeships will be offered at the Early College and the three other schools in NC that form the Learning Laboratory Initiative, a joint effort of the University of North Carolina and NCNSP that is aimed at showcasing the kind of teaching and learning that ensures all students graduate ready for college, careers and life.
The STEM Teacher Education Program (STEP) will offer internships, financial services, resources and on-line graduate level courses in support of lateral entry teacher certification. Candidates in the program will receive a year of on-the-job training at a non-traditional school supported by NCNSP, combined with online coursework through WIDE World, a professional development program of the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Each of the four Learning Lab schools, including the Caldwell Early College High School, will begin in the fall of 2012 to accommodate four teacher candidates, who will be paired with experienced teachers as mentors during the yearlong apprenticeships. The goal for the first year calls for 16 newly licensed teachers ready for classrooms in NCNSP-affiliated schools.
The program is aimed at ensuring that new teachers are well equipped to deliver integrated, project-based STEM learning experiences. After completing the program and three years of teaching, the new teachers would be licensed under state rules.
NCNSP's Transition to Teaching program will blend classroom preparation in STEM-related subjects with the kind of innovative approaches followed by the Learning Lab schools now hosting study visits. The schools are characterized by an effective and unique culture in which all adults collaborate to support, deepen and extend student learning, across their schools and into their communities.
In addition to Caldwell Early College, the other three Learning Lab schools are Cross Creek Early College High School in Fayetteville, Hillside New Tech High School in Durham and Wayne School of Engineering in Goldsboro.
Visit NCNSP online at http://newschoolsproject.org/