Edgewood College program targeting aspiring teachers

The Accelerated Teacher Education Program is looking to fill teaching vacancies in school districts across the state.
Edgewood College is launching a new online program that allows school district employees to work towards their master's degree and state teaching license.
Published: Sep. 7, 2023 at 4:35 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -Edgewood College is launching an online program to ease Wisconsin’s shortage of teachers.

The accelerated teacher residency program helps workers within school districts across the state earn their teaching license and master’s degree.

Employees through this program can become fully licensed educators by earning credits at a heavily reduced cost. Tuition for the Edgewood program, costs around $9,750.

To date, nearly 30 school districts across Dane, Rock, Sauk and Columbia counties are working in partnership with Edgewood’s residency program. Michael Meissen, the Edgewood College director of education and program coordinator said addressing the teach shortage and making a meaningful impact is truly an outgrowth of their mission.

“The thoughts were if we can bridge the worlds between K12 school districts and higher education around meeting the demands for a high quality teacher in every classroom, there might be some good things that are a benefit of working together and teaming around that,” Meissen said.

The program launch is being touted as one answer to the Badger State’s long-standing struggle to retain teachers in the education field.

Edgewood is honing in on employees who are already working in schools, but are not certified to teach. For example counselors, social workers, librarians even school administrators.

The program also targets those who have been pressed into teaching Meissen explained. “When you look at the needs across the state there’s upwards of 3,000 teachers that are pressed into service with an emergency license,” he said.

Students of the program can study one of three fields offered: special, elementary and secondary education.

The timeline for enrolled students can span up to two years or be completed as few as 12 months, with a flexible scheduling format. “This program is built to offer flexibility to be accommodating to prepare and develop the candidate while they’re actually serving children in the classroom,” added Meissen.

To learn more about applying to the program and how it can help you achieve your goals, you may contact Graduate Admissions via email gps@edgewood.edu or by calling (608) 663-4299.

“The hope is that then when we build it, they will come. And the hope is that we’re living out our values as a college to do good work in a meaningful way in a partnership community building enterprise like teacher development,” Meissen said.

Dr. Michael Meissen joins The Morning Show Thursday to highlight the college's online program working to alleviate teacher vacancies.

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