In an effort to recruit, train, and retain qualified educators in Louisiana, the Louisiana Workforce Commission has partnered with Southern University and A&M College for its first Registered Apprenticeship Teachers program. Registered Apprenticeship has programs operating in seven other states. Southern University is the first HBCU to be involved in the effort.
Registered Apprenticeship offers the Louisiana Workforce Commission an opportunity to address many current challenges related to recruitment and retention while also creating new professional pathways so that educators can become and remain teachers and leaders in Louisiana for all students. Cost can be a possible barrier that can discourage potential teachers from entering the field, and the required clinical experience can often require participants to work without pay to complete their necessary hours. This can deter candidates from starting or completing some programs. Registered Apprenticeship eliminates some of the cost pressures associated with traditional teacher programs by including an earn-as-you-learn component. This also is an alternative pathway for those that might not have a degree in education.
“We are excited to partner with Southern University and A&M College to bring a teacher apprenticeship program to their campus,” said Louisiana Workforce Commission Secretary Ava Cates. “We want our students and citizens of Louisiana to have a high-quality career pathway right here in Louisiana, and this program will help achieve that goal. The students will be able to prepare themselves for their future careers by obtaining paid work experience while building relationships in the education field.”
University students in the program will begin their apprenticeships in their second year of college. They will be assigned to positions in the East Baton Rouge Parish School System.
“We are honored that the Louisiana Workforce Commission has selected Southern as the first university in the state to participate in the Registered Apprenticeship program,” said Dennis J. Shields, president-chancellor of Southern University. “We have a rich history, present, and future of dynamic educators that serve in our communities. This program and partnership will allow us to address the needs of our state and to continue our mission to prepare students to reach their highest potentials without barriers.”