WEST CHESTER (November 29, 2017) – State Senator Andy Dinniman announced today that West Chester University will receive $112,000 in funding for a new program to prepare veterans for careers in education.
The Troops to Teachers grant program, managed by the Defense Activity for Nontraditional Education Support (DANTES), provides institutions with the funding needed to implement an alternative post-baccalaureate program to prepare eligible veterans to teach in one of Pennsylvania’s subject shortage areas.
“This program is a win-win for schools and for veterans,” Dinniman, who serves as minority chair of the Senate Education Committee, said. “We’re not only preparing our veterans for careers in the classroom, we’re helping them fill positions in some of our most important and understaffed subject areas, like math and science.
“Furthermore, many of our veterans have a wealth of real-world experience and will bring a unique perspective to the classroom. I have no doubt that they’ll be up for the challenge of preparing the next generation for the future,” he added.
Additionally, the program aims to provide hard-to-staff schools with appropriately certified teachers. It will enable veterans to gain critical skills and experience in the classroom, and help them with everything from navigating the certification process to securing a job in the field. Certification costs will also be discounted, and application processing will be expedited.
Under the program, veterans can earn a Pennsylvania instructional certificate to teach mathematics and the sciences in grades 7-12 and foreign languages across the K-12 spectrum. Veterans must hold at least a bachelor’s degree and register on the National Troops to Teachers registry to participate.
West Chester University, along with Slippery Rock University, was selected to receive Troops to Teachers grant funding. As part of the program, and for the first time, they will partner with high-need local education agencies to provide a year-long residency program for new educators. Those agencies include the Allegheny Intermediate Unit, Delaware County Intermediate Unit, Pittsburgh Public Schools, and Chester Upland School District to prepare military veterans to be teachers.
In addition to serving as minority chair of the Senate Education Committee, Dinniman serves on the Pennsylvania State Board of Education, the Pennsylvania State Public School Building Authority, and the Pennsylvania Higher Education Facilities Authority.