Local Teacher Pipeline Project
Rationale: Rationale: Research has proven that children learn better and achieve academically at a higher rate when they have high-quality, long-term teachers and administrators in their schools, and even more so when those education professionals are reflective of the demographic make-up of their community. The Local Teacher Pipeline Project will combat both our widespread teacher shortage and the lack of educators reflecting our student demographics by recruiting, training and supporting traditionally underserved local students to go into the profession. This will lead to increased student achievement, graduation and preparedness.
Goal: To increase the number of home-grown, diverse candidates going into the education profession in Nevada and raise the level of academic achievement in our schools.
Summary: This project begins by surveying students’ interest and perceptions of teaching and then introducing students to the idea of becoming teaching professionals. Once students are identified as interested, they are placed in coursework and profession-exposure opportunities based on their grade level. The school communicates with ninth- and tenth-graders on a monthly basis to renew and continue to gauge their interest. In tenth grade, facilitators work with potential program participants to expose them to the teaching profession and guide their coursework to ensure that they’re prepared should they want to continue on this path. Eleventh grade students and facilitators discuss financial aid, scholarships, testing, and the steps needed to ensure that they are able to go to college. Twelfth graders enroll in dual-credit courses at a participating college, as well as receiving hands-on-experience in classrooms by shadowing teachers and mentoring younger students.
Impact to Students: The number one in-school factor of whether or not a child will succeed academically is whether or not they consistently have qualified educators in front of them. Nevada has a massive teaching shortage due to both a lack of candidates coming in to the profession and a hemorrhaging of teachers in the first five years of joining it. We are in desperate need of high-quality teachers who will stay in the profession for the long haul. This project, as it expands, has the potential to provide Clark County School District with hundreds of teachers annually who already have roots in the Valley because they are from here. Teachers who teach in their home communities are far less likely to leave for a teaching position in another county or state.
Nevada Succeeds knows, based on research from multiple independent sources, that students learn better when they are taught by teachers reflective of their community and school demographics. By encouraging students from the Las Vegas Valley to become teachers in the Las Vegas community, we can ensure that our teaching force is truly reflective of the neighborhoods in which they teach.
More immediately, this project opens the door to college for students who may never have previously seen it as an option. Students from impoverished homes with undereducated parents are less likely to achieve at a high rate in high school, or to graduate. Further, those whose parents do not have a background in higher education are less likely to view college as an option for them and more likely to drop-out within the first 18 months. The Local Teacher Pipeline Program combats both of these issues by targeting those students who need the extra support and ensuring they finish their high-school career with financial aid, college opportunity and career-pathway knowledge that they likely would not have otherwise gained. While not all students who participate will continue on the path to teaching, the program will ensure they all finish their high-school career with financial aid, college opportunity and career-pathway knowledge that they likely would not have otherwise gained. Once expanded, this program will increase graduation rates and college attendance across CCSD.
Next Steps: The Local Teacher Pipeline Project is currently running at The Mojave High School and has a goal of expanding annually to five schools within the CCSD and recruiting 10 high school seniors per-school, per-year to commit to becoming teaching professionals by entering a participating college of education and graduating within four years. Upon graduation, these students will be encouraged to work at Title 1 schools within the Clark County School District.
We have met with project stakeholders to evaluate the 2016/17 school year and plan for the upcoming one. We are fundraising to hire a full-time project manager who can facilitate the expansion of this program to at least five comprehensive high schools per academic year.
The Career and Technical Education department of the Clark County School District has added education to their list of priorities for the 2017/18 school year. As such, they are providing increased funding to school to help identify and educate students about careers within education. Nevada Succeeds will work with CCSD to coordinate these two programs to avoid duplication and ensure the highest possible return on investment.