Teacher apprenticeship program

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The State of West Virginia is now officially one of only a few states in the nation to designate a teacher preparation pathway as a Registered Apprenticeship Program.

The West Virginia Board of Education and West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) said that the Department of Education’s Grow Your Own Pathway to Teaching Initiative is now a Registered Apprenticeship with the U.S. Department of Labor.

According to the WVDE, the apprenticeship designation elevates the department’s initiative with wage-earning field experiences beginning the junior year of high school and continuing through the student’s final year of college.

“Students will be able to earn duel credits while juniors and seniors in high school and then accelerate their studies into the next two years as they also get the chance to learn the skills and trade, while earning a paycheck,” David Rogers, with the West Virginia Department of Commerce said during the meeting.

State Superintendent of Schools W. Clayton Burch said that a current shortage of 1,200 certified educators in public schools will increase over the next several years in West Virginia.

The Pathway to Teaching Initiative allows high school students to complete college-level course work and graduate with a year of college already completed. Additionally, students may finish high school with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Teacher Aide certification, a release said.