NCSS Partnership with GSU

Newton County School System Partners with Georgia State University to Address Teacher Shortage
Posted on 02/02/2024
GSU Partnership with NCSSThe Newton County Board of Education is proud to announce its collaborative venture with Georgia State University's College of Education & Human Development, an initiative that seeks to tackle the prevalent teacher shortage. This strategic partnership underscores our commitment to empowering educators and fostering their professional growth, ultimately benefiting the students of Newton County Schools and enhancing the overall education landscape.

According to Ms. Nyree Sanders, Director of Human Resources at Newton County School System:

"At Newton County Schools, we recognize the critical role educators play in shaping the future. This partnership with Georgia State University is a testament to our dedication to providing our teachers with innovative pathways for professional development. By equipping our educators with advanced degrees, we not only address the teacher shortage but also elevate the quality of education for our students. Together with Georgia State, we are forging a stronger and more resilient teaching workforce to meet the evolving needs of our community."

Dr. Duke Bradley, III, Superintendent of Newton County School System, also shared his thoughts on this transformative collaboration:

"I am excited about the positive impact this partnership will have on our district. By teaming up with Georgia State University, we are not only addressing the immediate challenges posed by the teacher shortage but also investing in the long-term success of our educators and students. This collaborative effort aligns with our commitment to providing a high-quality education for every student in Newton County. Together, we are building a foundation for excellence and creating opportunities for our teachers to thrive in their professional journey."

Under the innovative partnership, provisionally licensed teachers presently engaged in classrooms and paraprofessionals possessing bachelor's degrees will have the opportunity to earn a Master of Arts in Teaching degree. This advanced degree will serve as a comprehensive preparation for them to transition into certified teachers of record. Simultaneously, licensed, and certified classroom teachers will pursue a Master of Education degree, allowing them to further refine their skills and advance in their educational careers.

Over the span of three years, this collaborative effort will support the professional development of 270 educators across four partnering school districts (Atlanta Public Schools, Gwinnett County Public Schools, Rockdale County Public Schools, Newton County Public Schools).

All individuals obtaining advanced degrees through the Pathways to Teacher Credentialing Project are committed to teaching within their respective districts for a specified number of years post-graduation. This commitment aims to provide local schools with a stable and qualified workforce, ultimately contributing to the overall educational enrichment of students in the region.

Georgia State University emphasizes that by enlisting educators already dedicated to their careers within these districts, the Pathways to Teacher Credentialing Project will fortify the state's teacher workforce, ensuring that Georgia students receive a high-quality education from well-prepared educators.

This transformative program has been made possible through the collaborative funding efforts of Georgia State University, the four partnering school districts, federal- and state-level TEACH Grants, and The Goizueta Foundation. Notably, the Newton County Board of Education has approved a district funding contribution of $65,000, allocated from FY 2024 Title II funds.

Laura May, Associate Dean and Project Director of the College of Education & Human Development, expressed enthusiasm, stating, "The quality of a child’s teacher has a tremendous impact on their learning. We're excited to witness multiple stakeholders joining forces to support this meaningful, long-term professional development program."

“This innovative partnership signifies a significant stride toward building a robust and sustainable teaching workforce, ensuring a brighter future for the students of Newton County Schools,” said Mrs. Abigail Coggin, chair of the Newton County Board of Education.