RCS Piloting Teaching Program to Fast-Track New Math and Science Teachers

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By KEITH RYAN CARTWRIGHT
Rutherford County Schools

Rutherford County Schools has been selected for a fast-track pilot program that will allow those interested in becoming math or science teachers to earn their teaching credentials and become classroom teachers for the school district.

As part of the program, participants will serve as full-time teachers in the classroom while completing two years of coursework in the evenings and summers.

RCS has already been leading the way by being the first K-12 institution to be approved by the Tennessee Department of Education to serve as an “Educator Preparation Provider.”

The EPP program provides an alternative pathway option for those new to the education profession to earn their teaching license.

Through RCS’ existing EPP, the district has been training has been training industry professionals to become teachers in the district’s Career and Technical Education programs.

This new pilot program is expanding the district’s EPP initiative to admit those interested in teaching secondary math and science. To be considered for admission into the program candidates need to have a current teaching job offer, a bachelor’s degree and passing content Praxis test scores.

The district has hired an EPP instructor, Dr. Amber Matuszewski, to serve those in the expanded program.

“We are excited to kick off our program expansion with a wonderful new addition to our EPP faculty,” EPP specialist Rebecca Murphy said. “Her extensive background in math and science curriculum and instruction will be a tremendous asset in coaching and supporting new teachers.”

Rutherford County Schools is partnering with the Southern Regional Education Board as a pilot site to offer the Fast-Track Alternative Certification Program for math and science.

The curriculum was designed specifically to focus on the needs of job-embedded teachers entering the profession through alternative routes, many of whom previously held career positions entirely outside of education.

The partnership will provide coaching and mentoring support for the EPP faculty through ongoing professional development and co-teaching of class sessions with the goal of effectively delivering high-quality educator coursework to prepare teachers for success in the classroom.

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