Grow your Own educator programs, which recruit and prepare community based teachers, are an increasingly popular strategy to address local teacher shortages. The Shelbyville School District is a leader in this space and is preparing to offer an Introduction to Education course (College Credit) next year in partnership with Lake Land College, EIEFES, and the Illinois State Board of Education. Other area school districts within Shelby County have expressed an interest in participating in this innovative and essential effort.
IL State Superintendent, Carmen Ayala, recently announced that education career pathway programs have helped to increase enrollment in teacher preparation programs by 41% since 2017. Last year, Shelbyville High School was awarded a CTE Education Career Pathway Grant. That award was one of only 31 grants issued across the State of Illinois. Shelbyville High School has been recognized as a model of excellence in this career development category by the Illinois State Board of Education and the Regional Office of Education.
Education Career Pathways allow students to get a head start on teacher preparation through opportunities for hands-on learning, dual credit, credentials, and mentorship. The program also allows districts to recruit and prepare future educators to address their local shortage areas.
We know that some of the best educators in the area choose to teach in the Shelbyville School District, and it is our hope that programs such as this continue to build upon that tradition.