NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – Teacher shortages continue to plague classrooms across Oklahoma. Recently, the University of Oklahoma’s Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education announced incentives for prospective teachers, who graduate and teach in the state.
It’s called the Inspire to Teach program.
UO senior Jennevieve Scott took an unconventional path to find her career path, but she benefited financially from the new program.
“I started teaching later in life,” Scott said. I am a non-traditional student. I was a substitute teacher and it took me about a month in class to realize that was what I wanted to do as a career.
Scott, who will graduate in May, thought his degree was out of reach without financial aid.
“We really had to weigh the cost of everything,” Scott said.
The Inspire to Teach program will allow students who graduate from an Oklahoma high school and have declared of legal age in an accredited Oklahoma education program to receive $1,000 in their freshman, sophomore, and junior year. An additional amount of $2,500 will be awarded in the final year. Once the teacher receives a certification, they will receive $4,000 per year for the next five years if they teach at an Oklahoma school.
This will total $25,500 in incentives.
Dr. Aiyana Henry is Associate Dean of the UO College of Education.
“When you go to education, I think you go there for a lot of reasons,” Dr. Henry said. “Having that money will remove the barriers for some students that it’s not an option for them.”
For future teachers like Scott, it will be one less hurdle before starting their career.
“I think anything worth doing is going to be scary.”
The program is a statewide scholarship and employment incentive program, but it was only recently available at OU. To apply, visit the OU Undergraduate Academic Advising Office.
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