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U.S. Department of Education to fuel pipeline for aspiring GCPS teachers

October 19, 2022

     Over the next five years, the federal government will send Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC) $3.7 million to help aspiring educators become teachers in Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS). The U.S. Department of Education’s Teacher Quality Grant (TQG) will support 40 GGC students by covering a year-long teaching residency and two years of additional support during their first two years of teaching in GCPS schools. Through the residency program, students will be paired with a mentor, a current GCPS teacher, and co-teach together, allowing the student to gain responsibility throughout the year. The residency and subsequent two years of support are meant to ease the transition into an education career to retain teachers in high-need schools.

     GCPS Superintendent Dr. Calvin J. Watts is excited about the program and support from the U.S. Department of Education. He explains, “This project will give us an opportunity to deepen our partnership with Georgia Gwinnett College in a collaborative effort to support our community and our schools. We continually seek ways to recruit a high-quality applicant pool that reflects the diversity of our district. These future teachers, as well as GCPS, will benefit greatly from having them complete their year­long residency in a GCPS school where they can remain employed after graduation.”

     The TQG funds teacher preparation programs in high-need communities at colleges and universities for undergraduate students and for teaching residency programs for individuals new to teaching with strong academic and professional backgrounds. The central feature of all TQG grantees is a strong partnership between the teacher preparation programs and the school districts they serve, which are often facilitated by mentor teachers who coach and prepare incoming educators. GGC is one of 22 grant recipients and the only one in the state of Georgia.

     “We look forward to partnering with GGC on this project and will provide whatever support is necessary to ensure it is a success and one that we can build on in the future,” Dr. Watts shares. “Developing effective approaches to novice teacher support will ultimately help us reduce teacher turnover and provide substantial benefits to our district.”