PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — An Illinois initiative to combat the growing teacher shortage crisis is recruiting its third class of students.
Golden Apple, a non-profit committed to preparing, supporting and mentoring aspiring teachers, is accepting applications for its Accelerators Program class of 2022.
Launched in 2020, the Golden Apple Accelerators Program is a 15-month teacher residency and licensure program that develops educators to serve areas experiencing shortages, notably central, southern and western Illinois.
“It’s an immediate solution to the dire teacher shortage crisis that we’re faced with right now,” said Kesa Thurman-Stovall, program director at Golden Apple. “We just have not had the volume of students enrolling in institutions of higher ed, wanting to go into education.”
Stovall said the program is targeted to career changers and college seniors who are not majoring in education but want to change paths.
“If you have the heart to teach and the passion for the field and our students, we know that this is a program that you should definitely look into,” she said.
She said students receive a stipend up to $25,000, mentorship, classroom teaching experience, and job placement. Eligibility requirements are a bachelor’s degree, reside in central, southern or western Illinois, and able to commit to teaching at a targeted school for four years. To apply, click here.
There are more than 1,900 unfilled teaching positions and more than 3,400 schools across Illinois that are experiencing teacher shortages, according to Golden Apple.