Quincy University’s School of Education has been awarded a $24,950 grant from the Tracy Family Foundation to pilot a new “Grow Your Own” Rural Teacher Education Program.

QU’s “Grow your Own” (GYO) program focuses on teacher candidate retention and early support in the field post-graduation.  The new “Grow Your Own” Rural Teacher Education program includes scholarship support for Education students who commit to teaching in a 10 – county region, surrounding Quincy, IL after graduation. The program also includes the creation of a Summer Institute for area students in grades 1-7.  The Summer Institute serves both to boost teacher candidate experience and knowledge, and to provide additional enrichment opportunities for area school-aged students. In addition, after graduation, new teachers will be paired with a mentor funded by the grant.

“We are excited about being in the forefront to the critical teacher shortage,” says Dr. Glenda McCarty, director of teacher education. “We want to be a solution to the problem.”

The “Teacher Shortages: What We Know” report produced by the Education Commission of the States (May 2016) acknowledges the struggle rural schools face in attracting and retaining highly qualified teachers. The report notes, that recruiting obstacles include: a limited local teacher supply, lack of rigorous training and certification options, and geographic and social isolation.