Getting Started: Benefits & Goals
There are several benefits to a registered apprenticeship for the K-12 teaching occupation, including expanding the teacher pipeline, quality control, and the potential to access additional federal funding. To begin the design process, start with the goals you would like your program to achieve.
Benefits of a Registered Apprenticeship for the K-12 Teaching Occupation
Launching a registered apprenticeship program for the K-12 teaching occupation offers several benefits to state departments of education:
Enable teachers to earn and learn: Through a registered apprenticeship program for the K-12 teaching occupation, states enable prospective teachers to work and earn an income while studying and completing their credentials, instead of having to choose between an income and their degree.
Expand the teacher pipeline: The ability to earn an income while earning a degree makes teaching more accessible to a broader group of people. This enables people from diverse backgrounds to join the teaching force and expands the overall pipeline of teachers. Given teacher shortages that have persisted over time, expanding the teacher pipeline addresses a critical need that education sectors across the country are facing.
Quality control: As a sponsor, state departments of education may be able to influence the field of educator preparation providers operating in their state and set expectations for quality, thus influencing the quality of such programs. If a state department of education does not become a sponsor for their state, other entities – such as districts, nonprofits, and educator preparation providers – can and will become one.
Access additional ongoing federal funding: Most federal funding for education comes through the U.S. Department of Education. Through a registered apprenticeship program for the K-12 teaching occupation, state departments of education may be able to access federal funding through the U.S. Department of Labor, opening a new funding stream and bringing additional dollars to their state.
Access new federal grants: U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona has called on all states to set up registered apprenticeships in teaching, and on August 31, 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that they will be offering $100 million in apprenticeship grants to support states and other partners looking to start and expand teacher apprenticeship programs.
Bring additional state funding to education: Registered apprenticeships for the K-12 teaching occupation that you approve as a sponsor may be eligible for additional funding from your state’s department of labor and/or your regional workforce development boards.
Set the Goals for Your Registered Apprenticeship Program for the K-12 Teaching Occupation
Once you have decided to launch a registered apprenticeship program for the K-12 teaching occupation, you will need to set goals for your program. These goals will inform the design of your program. Questions to consider as you set your goals include:
What existing programs in your community can you integrate or leverage as a part of your apprenticeship program? Do you have an existing “grow your own” or teacher preparation program that is getting strong results? For example, if there is an existing program that makes community college free, you may want to layer your program into that.
What changes would you like to see in terms of how teachers are prepared? For example:
Would you like to increase the length of the clinical internship/student teaching experience?
Would you like to require that candidates must be more diverse than the current teacher workforce?
Would you like to require all graduates to be dual-endorsed in special education, English Learners, or other critical shortage areas?
Would you like to require all aspiring educators to be trained in the science of reading?
Who is your target audience? Do you want to draw people who are 1 year away from completing their BA, or do you also want to support individuals who are 2 or even 6 years away? The way that you answer this question will inform the type of pathway(s) you offer in your program.
Since registered apprenticeship is a medium- to long-term strategy, how many teachers do you project that you will need in your state over time? How many teachers are your current Educator Preparation Providers producing? How many students would need to participate in your program to meet your goals as you account for retention rates, retirements, and other factors?
School districts serve as the employers for registered apprenticeship programs for the K-12 teaching occupation. Which school districts may want to partner with you? How many teaching positions do they need to fill, and in which subjects/grade levels? Who is currently in their pipeline? What are their priorities and needs?
Which educator preparation programs may want to partner with you? What types of degrees do they offer? How are they addressing the needs and priorities of local school districts?
In consideration of the needs of local school districts and the people that they want to cultivate into teachers, do the educator preparation programs have what is necessary to create different entry points to the teaching profession? For example, can they serve students while they are in high school (there is an option for you to create a youth development apprenticeship program), and can they serve candidates whether they have no college credit, an AA, or a BA?
How much money are we as a state willing and able to contribute to this program overall? If our goal is to have a certain number of teachers, how much are we willing to pay per degree? What is our budget for this program?