- The University of Miami has begun offering a Teacher Accelerator Program to students that guarantee a job with Miami-Dade Public Schools upon completion
- The program, in partnership with Achieve Miami and Teach for America, targets students not pursuing a degree in education
- Participants will take a one-semester-long course before working an internship that offers classroom experience
- Once a student has completed the program and completed the necessary exams, a teaching position with Miami-Dade Schools will be guaranteed
The University of Miami, partnering with Achieve Miami and Teach for America, has begun offering a Teacher Accelerator Program to students that guarantees a teaching job within the Miami-Dade School District upon graduation.
The program consists of a one-semester course followed by a paid internship that places participating students in a classroom setting to garner an understanding of day-to-day school operations.
Notably, the University of Miami states that the program is targeting students who are not majoring in an education field. Program procedures explain that seniors at the university who are in degree tracks outside of education can enter the program and establish a path to teach professionally in the city of Miami following graduation.
“The Teacher Accelerator Program course is an intensive preparation for being a teacher, including teaching methods and classroom management. The program will walk participants through registration and testing to become teachers while providing a $5,000 paid summer internship. It all prepares the UM graduate to start work in August in Miami-Dade. For students looking for a good job, a career ladder, and job satisfaction, this course is it,” said Archive Miami founder Leslie Miller Saiontz.
Per the faculty members that crafted the program curriculum, students will be taught about pedagogy, classroom management, classroom pacing, and how to work in diverse environments during the semester-long class.
On completion of the course, students will work a summer internship with professional development and in-classroom experience. The summer internships will be supervised by Teach For America and Achieve Miami.
Participants will spend five-to-seven weeks of their summer teaching in Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Through the internship process, students will take the necessary examinations to acquire teaching certifications. Once completed, a position as a teacher with Miami-Dade Public Schools will be guaranteed.
To round out the program, students will be mentored through their first year by Achieve Miami and Teach for America.
The accelerated program comes at a time of severe teacher shortage, spread nationwide, but especially so in Florida. As of August of this year, roughly 11,000 statewide teaching vacancies remained.
With a lack of teachers, public schools are struggling to provide adequate educational standards to students, with overcrowded classes and unqualified teachers quickly becoming the new norm.
the Florida Department of Education in its ‘Identification of Critical Teacher Shortage Areas‘ report, finds that English, Science, and Reading are the most directly impacted subjects. Particularly in English, many teachers currently teaching the subject have certifications for other specialized subjects, like history or math.
Like the University of Miami, several universities across Florida have undertaken efforts to push for more teachers in the workforce, like the University of North Florida, which recently established a veteran-to-teacher pipeline.