Monday, February 16, 2009

Teacher Quality Enhancement-Recruitment Grant

In 2005, the College of New Jersey was awarded the Teacher Quality Enhancement-Recruitment (TQE-R) Grant by the US Department of Education for the amount of $3.3 million. The TQE-R Grant was awarded in order to increase future teacher recruitment, especially in high-poverty, low-achieving schools and in high-shortage subject areas like math, science, world languages, early childhood education and special education. The College is implementing the TQE-R Grant by cooperating with three high-poverty, low-achieving school districts: Trenton Public Schools, Pemberton Public Schools and Vineland Public Schools.

Statistics show that one-third of new teachers leave the profession within the first five years of employment nationwide. The numbers get even higher in high-need school districts. On top of that, around 2% of teachers retire yearly, although some return and work part-time as substitutes. So every five years, around 10% of teachers that were in the workforce retire, and 30% of the teachers coming into the field to replace them end up leaving as well. This has created an obvious shortage.

Research indicates that to deal with teacher shortages in high-need schools, strategies are needed across the continuum of professional practice in order to retain teachers once they are recruited into these high risk schools. The TQE-R Grant is comprised of three strategies which help implement its goals. In the first strategy, the TQE-R Grant uses high-impact recruitment plans for high-need districts, including web-based recruitment services for urban districts, incentives for high-need district placement, and new technology-based practices that help reverse slow-moving hiring processes. The second strategy introduces pre-service program offerings for traditional and alternate routes to the needs of future teachers who wish to work in high-need districts. In the third strategy, tactics are used which promote strong induction and professional learning in all three high-need districts.

At the College, two people have been vital to the implementation of the TQE-R Grant: Dr. Sharon Sherman, Principal Investigator of the TQE-R Grant, and Mr. Larry Fieber, Urban Recruitment Coordinator. Together, they have started many programs with the TQE-R Grant that help to further their goals. In this way, the College is utilizing the TQE-R Grant to help increase teacher recruitment and retention, specifically in New Jersey.

Watch a video about the TQE-R Grant here:

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