Moving to head of the class

Grambling State University is going back to its roots when it was a college known for training teachers. If you are a non-education graduate who would like to teach, the Alternative Teacher Certification Program on campus just might be for you.

“We’re looking for people willing to answer the call of teaching,” said DeWanna Greer. MAT coordinator.

ATCP is an initiative designed to recruit, train and support individuals who have the desire to become teachers.  The program takes people with bachelor’s degrees in disciplines other than education, and prepares them to be elementary, middle and high school teachers.  

“I’m happy for the opportunity the program gives me,” said current ATCP student Bakari Maxwell.

“I’ve learned a lot and feel like I’m being prepared to be successful in my career.”

The ultimate goal of the project is to build a pool of well-trained, qualified teachers to address the shortage of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) teachers in high-need school districts in North Louisiana.  

The program will provide local school districts with teachers in the areas of elementary education (grades 1-5) and secondary education (grades 6-12) in biology, chemistry, general science, mathematics, physics and special education.  

GSU has long offered teacher certification programs, and the Alternative Teacher Certification Program expands that legacy. 

In addition to the teacher certification, the ATCP will also provide program participates with a master of arts in teaching (MAT) degree upon completion.

The Alternative Teacher Certification Program is in the middle of its second year of operation.  The program begins annually with the start of Summer Session I and can be completed in as little as 14 months.  

The program is being funded by the U.S. Department of Education.  

The ATCP caters not only to recent graduates but also those seeking a mid-career change. The program offers incentives and support to students who are entering the program. A $4,500 stipend is available for eligible candidates.  

Program participants will also work closely with a GSU faculty mentor.

DeWanna Greer expressed with enthusiasm the goal of the program. “We want to produce quality, confident teachers that are ready to succeed.”

“We’re not going to send you out into the world to fail,” Greer continued. “We don’t want to see you sink or drown.  

“We want to see you swim and swim well.”

For more information about the program, visit the ATCP office in Charles P. Adams Hall Room 222.