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Florida 2006 Grant Abstracts

Grantee Name:Florida Atlantic University
Project Name:Pathways to Teaching (PTT)
Project Director:Rebecca Harlin 954-236-1060

Pathways to Teaching (PTT) is a partnership among Florida Atlantic University and three area school districts: Broward, Palm Beach, and Okeechobee. The project's goal is to expand the number of fully certified professionals in these districts by restructuring the route to certification. To do so, FAU will provide instruction for bachelor's degree holders to become professionally certified teachers through competency-based alternative certification programs, and also will provide instruction to assist highly qualified paraprofessionals to earn bachelor's degrees and get certified. PTT will increase the number of highly qualified teachers who are recruited in teaching from non-traditional sources, and then focus on assisting candidates through the certification process by navigating the bureaucracy of certification, streamlining it under the aegis of FAU, and then guiding placement in order to help the three targeted counties. The grant will facilitate teacher recruiting in high-need content areas, showing preference for applicants with backgrounds in science and mathematics.

Grantee Name:Florida Department of Education
Project Name:Florida Transition to Teaching Project
Project Director:Kathryn Hebda 850-245-0435

The purpose of the Florida Transition to Teaching Project is to increase the State's supply of highly qualified and effective K-12 educators by recruiting recent college graduates and mid-career professionals to teach in several small, rural high-need school districts (Columbia, Levy, and Liberty Counties). These participating Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) will prepare project participants to teach high-need subjects (such as mathematics and science). Recruits will be placed in the classroom and participate in alternate accelerated certification programs provided primarily by State Educator Preparation Institutes located at local community colleges. These accelerated programs will enable recruits to complete licensure activities within three semesters. They will include rigorous coursework provided onsite and online, and two years of classroom support from mentors trained as part of the project. Recruits will commit to teaching for three years in the high-need districts and, in return, the LEAs will reimburse them for tuition costs. It is anticipated that 210 recruits will have successfully participated in the project by the end of the five-year grant. On the State level, the Department of Education will seek to enhance recruitment and preparation in the Transition to Teaching program by developing a method to identify the common characteristics of high performing teachers in rural LEAs. Local districts will be better able to select appropriately qualified candidates for alternative certification and provide more targeted support as a result.

Grantee Name:Florida Gulf Coast University
Project Name:Teacher Immersion Program (TIP) Academy for Alternative Certification
Project Director:Marci Greene 239-590-7781

The Teacher Immersion Program (TIP) aims to provide an alternative teacher preparation program to fill positions in the School District of Lee County and other high-need Local Educational Agencies (LEAs), specifically in the content areas of mathematics, science, and special education. A collaboration among Florida Gulf Coast University's College of Education and area school districts, the TIP Academy for Alternative Certification will recruit forty change-of-career candidates and/or recent education minors into five cohort groups, totaling 200 new teachers. After completing a comprehensive program that offers professional competency training in face-to-face, online, and hybrid formats, TIP participants will assume full-time classroom responsibilities in high-need schools in Southwest Florida. In order to incite and maintain a high retention rate among candidates, the TIP requires a three-year teaching commitment, but provides incentive, with nine hours of graduate credit, scholarships, and enhanced mentoring available for all participants.

Grantee Name:Palm Beach Community College
Project Name:Transitioning and Supporting Hispanic Educators (TASHE)
Project Director:Susan Caldwell 561-868-3339

Palm Beach Community College (PBCC) and the School District of Palm Beach County (SDPBC) are seeking to further improve the quality of education in the County's K-12 system with their collaboration under the proposed Transition to Teaching program entitled "Transitioning and Supporting Hispanic Educators" (TASHE). Working with the Hispanic Human Resources Council and Centro Cultural Latino Americano, PBCC and SDPBC seek to attract, recruit, and retain highly qualified teachers, especially from the Hispanic population. TASHE is targeting non-education professionals and new graduates who have yet to complete a teacher preparation program. At least 300 participants will be enrolled in PBCC's Institute of Teacher Education during the project's five-year span. By adding distance learning components and supplementing them with test preparation workshops and other professional development programs, TASHE will build upon its successful efforts to create alternative routes to teacher certification in Florida. This will help assuage the school district's need for educators, specifically confronting the limited number of Hispanic teachers, while also streamlining the complex and costly issues associated with Florida's alternative teacher certification process.

Grantee Name:School Board of Miami-Dade County
Project Name:Creating a Teaching Community (CTC)
Project Director:Cindy Soell 305-995-7078
Partner Districts/LEAs:Miami-Dade County

The Creating a Teaching Community (CTC) initiative proposed by the Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) seeks to reduce the projected shortage of teachers in M-DCPS over the next three years by recruiting, hiring, and retaining a total of 150 mid-career changers, particularly retired military, in difficult-to-staff urban schools. M-DCPS has a high need for elementary teachers, high school mathematics and science teachers, and exceptional education teachers in all grade levels. As a result, it has partnered with Miami Dade College to prepare participants for certification in these subjects. CTC recruitment is incentive-driven, training participants through a streamlined variety of pre-service workshops and professional development activities, offered both online and in person. CTC also provides participants with a mentor, the Teacher Pal, to ensure proper adjustment support for all candidates. The project is designed to mitigate barriers to an efficient, effective, and user-friendly recruitment, employment, and retention system, furthering the district's strategic plan, while providing a platform for modeling and testing strategies prior to system-wide adoption. The incorporation of readily available support services and technology will further serve to build a community of teachers who can identify with one another and the mission of the M-DCPS school system.

Grantee Name:School Board of Orange County
Project Name:Seeking Out Alternative Routes (SOAR)
Project Director:Ronald C. Pilgrim

Seeking Out Alternative Routes, or Project SOAR, is an effort by the Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) in Florida to establish unique partnerships with the University of Central Florida (UCF) and the Walt Disney World Company to help alleviate the district's need for highly capable educators. Through these mutually beneficial partnerships, OCPS looks to recruit and retain exceptional mathematics, science, and special education teacher candidates to serve in high-need/high-poverty schools. Walt Disney World's College Internship Program (CIP) will benefit both OCPS and Walt Disney World by providing seasonal employees with an opportunity to participate in an alternative route program to become a teacher within OCPS during Walt Disney World's off-season. UCF also will provide OCPS with a targeted recruitment opportunity in their science and mathematics departments, and will establish a website that has a high appeal for these majors. OCPS is also committed to continuing to streamline and make hiring processes more goal-oriented with Project SOAR.

Grantee Name:University of South Florida
Project Name:Local Partnership for Improved Supply of Highly Qualified Special Educators
Project Director:Patricia Alvarez McHatton 813-974-5354

The University of South Florida's (USF) Department of Special Education proposes to address the shortage of Exceptional Student Education (ESE) teachers in Pasco, Polk and Hernando Counties in Florida. Project Propel will recruit and provide a career-ladder for paraprofessionals with an on-site, expedited ESE teacher education program offering intensive preparation and enhanced instruction in those core content areas deemed necessary to meet Florida's requirements for highly qualified ESE teachers. The recruitment will focus on participants experienced in working with special-needs students, either while as a paraprofessional or while fulfilling college course requirements. The project provides teacher education modules supporting an integrated and expedited "para-to-professional" program leading to ESE teacher certification. By providing comprehensive recruitment, preparation and mentoring services that directly target the unique personnel needs of partner districts, USF will successfully prepare and place 50 new ESE teachers over the five years of project activity.

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Last Modified: 06/19/2008