Local and national media spotlight how Teacher Pledge is working to address the teacher shortage

February 14, 2022

CNN and Madison’s Channel 3000/News 3 highlighted the UW–Madison School of Education’s Teacher Pledge program in recent reports, drawing attention to a growing teacher shortage in both Wisconsin and the United States. national scale.

The Teacher Pledge, part of the School of Education’s Impact 2030 initiative, provides financial support – including up to tuition, fees and test certification costs – to enrolled students to one of the school’s teacher training programs. In return, after graduating, students “commit” to teaching for three or four years in a kindergarten through grade 12.and elementary school in Wisconsin.

The CNN report draws attention to a growing teacher shortage in the United States as many seasoned teachers retire and fewer college graduates enter the field. Report highlights dwindling enrollment in teacher preparation programs nationwide, but highlights UW-Madison among institutions working to attract more students by providing financial support so students can graduate debt-free.

Following on from CNN’s report, Madison’s Channel 3000/News 3 highlights the Teacher Pledge program in a segment titled “Call to Action: UW-Madison Offers Student Teacher Loan Remission.”

Channel 3000/News 3 interviewed Camryn Boons, a graduate student in one of UW-Madison’s teacher education programs, who came to Wisconsin from her hometown of Michigan to pursue her master’s degree in education. Boons said teacher engagement was key to his decision to enroll at UW-Madison.

“It’s just that extra help that has really made a difference for me, and I know (for) a lot of my classmates,” she said.

Photo by Kimber Wilkerson
Wilkerson

UW-Madison’s Kimber Wilkerson, a special education professor and faculty director at the Teacher Education Center, explained in the segment that the program works to solve two problems at once. First, it helps more students pay for their education by providing money up front and keeping the application process simple.

“Because it’s relatively small compared to a federal loan forgiveness program, we can be more nimble,” Wilkerson said, “so we can make corrections if we see something that’s a sticking point. .”

Additionally, the requirement that Teacher Pledge students teach in Wisconsin helps local schools that are experiencing ongoing staffing shortages. “We’re kind of excited that (this) means these teachers are also saying up front that they plan to teach in the state of Wisconsin,” Wilkerson said.

The segment noted that two years after the launch of the Teacher Pledge program, UW-Madison’s teacher education programs are expanding and 80% of master’s students have signed up to teach in Wisconsin.

For Boons, the Pledge has helped her feel a sense of commitment to her new home in Wisconsin. “From my hometown, to the city of my undergraduate school, to Madison, I’ve always felt the need to do something and give back,” she said. “I’m coming home now, and I miss Madison even more.”

Check out the full Channel 3000/News 3 report via the organization’s YouTube channel.

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