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Teach in Bama program signs first school districts

TUSCALOOSA — The University of Alabama College of Education has signed the first two school districts to Teach in Bama, a program committed to identifying and supporting the next generation of exceptional teachers and keeping them in Alabama’s classrooms.

Tuscaloosa City Schools and Greene County Schools have signed a memorandum of understanding with the program, which is recruiting districts around the state.

Dr. Carlton McHargh, director of enrollment and student success in the College of Education, said the Teach in Bama development team began this endeavor in 2023 in response to the growing shortage of teachers both in the state and nationwide.

“The issue of filling full-time teaching vacancies has been extensively studied over the past years,” he said. “Notably, a recent study conducted by the Annenberg Institute at Brown University underscored a national shortfall of 55,000 teaching positions, with Alabama alone grappling with over 1,300 vacancies.”

How Teach in Bama works

High school juniors and seniors interested in teaching as a career choice will be recruited to become Teach in Bama Scholars.

Students selected for the cohort will enroll in UA Early College courses in the spring and fall semesters. Over the summer, participants will take a deeper dive into their future education and career at the Teach in Bama Institute under the mentorship of College of Education faculty and staff. Students will also take part in the UA Early College Summer Residential program, where they live and study on campus for five weeks.

In addition to the special programs and course credits, Teach in Bama participants will also have access to a wealth of UA resources including academic and career coaches, tutors and the UA writing center.

University support will continue into each TIB participant’s initial teaching experience after graduation as well.

Interested students must be current juniors or seniors with a 3.0 or higher GPA for both high school and all post-secondary work.

Applications require a personal statement and three recommendations (two school recommendations and one community/non-family member recommendation).

Program requirements

  • Scholars must earn a minimum of three hours of University of Alabama Early College credit by Dec. 18, and enroll in a three or four hour UAEC class in the spring of 2025.
  • Attend Early College Summer Residential Program and enroll in six hours and maintain at least a 3.0 GPA.
  • Attend the Teach in Bama Institute (runs concurrently with the Early College Summer Program).
  • Students meeting the above criteria will receive priority consideration for the Teach in Bama Scholarship to attend The University of Alabama.
  • To maintain the Teach in Bama Scholarship, students must uphold their 3.0 GPA, enroll at UA and complete a minimum of 12 hours in an approved teacher education program each semester to continue receiving the scholarship.

School systems that sign an agreement with Teach in Bama will also be granted a preferred opportunity to recruit Teach in Bama Scholars.

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