TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - A new partnership in Toledo aims to grow the educational work force and draw from former Toledo Public Schools students to do so.
Toledo Public Schools and Lourdes University announced their Lourdes Teaching Proud and Strong Partnership on Thursday to better prepare the teachers of tomorrow.
Who actually knows what career path they want to take when they graduate high school?
Not very many, because most students don't have very much real experience in anything besides being a student.
The new partnership however is looking to change that, so students can make a better educated decision.
At a press conference on Friday, TPS superintendent Dr. Romulus Durant, along with the president of Lourdes University Dr. Mary Ann Gawelek, announced a plan to help students interested in teaching develop critical skills.
"One semester of student teaching is definitely not enough in the most challenging environments, but we're breaking that mold, and getting kids much more into experiences inside the classroom starting with high school," said Dr. Durant.
The participants in the Teacher Education Exploration Program will earn college credit from Lourdes as they get real experience in the teaching field.
"We are very committed to having our Toledo Public School students be successful, and we believe that our campus environment can particularly help those students," said Dr. Gawelek.
The partnership is open to seniors and juniors within the TPS district who are involved in the Teacher Education Exploration Program.
Students will be able to earn college credit from Lourdes and field experiences at TPS elementary schools.
In addition, students who complete their teaching degree at Lourdes and become licensed in Ohio will receive priority hiring status from TPS and a potential signing bonus.
"Students already know the teachers, they know the buildings, they know the rules, they grew up with all of that. And they know where they would like to make improvements themselves," said Michael Heinze, Waite High School teacher.
Once student complete the program with a degree from Lourdes, and become a licensed teacher in the state of Ohio, they will receive 'priority hiring status' from TPS.
The program is scheduled to begin in the upcoming school year.