Glenville State College aims to impact Wood County teacher shortages

Photo Provided Wood County Schools Director of Secondary Schools Ken Cook, left, and Glenville State College President Tracy Pellett, right, sign an agreement for the college’s “Home Grown” program, which seeks to find new teachers for areas of need, like science, math and foreign language.

GLENVILLE — Glenville State College and Wood County Schools are partnering to help address teacher shortages in critical areas.

In a press release Thursday, Glenville State College announced the “Home Grown” program, which uses “coordinated college and public school partnerships … to address focused and joint teacher identification, financial and scholarship support for candidate attendance to college, and practical experiences and mentoring during teacher preparation and into the start of full-time teaching.”

The number of teacher vacancies in the Mountain State has risen dramatically, from more than 400 three years ago to 700 in 2017, increasing concerns about the long-term educational and economic impact for families and the state. Vacancies are particularly acute in special education, math, early education, and science.

“Glenville State College has a history of training teachers going back all the way to 1872 and we are prepared to take a focused and intentional lead in encouraging enrollment in teacher programs, particularly in the identified shortage areas,” Glenville State College President Tracy Pellett said in the release. “We know that addressing this teacher shortage matches the vision of Governor Justice and several other state lawmakers and GSC agrees that the time is now.”

Students who are interested in enrolling in GSC’s education program and taking part in the “Home Grown” initiative can expect to take part in peer and professional mentoring, advising, intensive tutoring, real-world teaching experiences in their home county, and the opportunity to enhance their teaching knowledge and appreciation of teaching.

“Wood County applauds Glenville State College’s efforts in addressing the teacher shortage in critical need areas. The ‘Home Grown’ initiative will certainly provide our students with a great opportunity to pursue a career in much needed teaching fields such as science, math, and special education with the possibility of future employment in Wood County Schools,” Wood County Schools Superintendent Will Hosaflook said in the release. “Since Glenville State College is providing significant scholarship support for this program, we view it as a win/win for both the students and the school district.”

Annual competitive scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 are also available for students in the “Home Grown” initiative. Other foundation and community based scholarships are also available to offset costs. Students are reminded that any awards from the institution cannot exceed the full tuition and fees amount.

At present only students from Gilmer, Braxton, Calhoun, Doddridge, Fayette, Kanawha, Lewis, Nicholas, Pleasants, Pocahontas, Roane, Webster, Wood, Wirt and Upshur counties are eligible to participate in the “Home Grown” program. However, other scholarships are available for students hailing from other West Virginia counties.

For more information about GSC’s “Home Grown” initiative or to enroll, contact the Office of Admissions at admissions@glenville.edu or by calling 1-800-924-2010.

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