It’s been nearly two years since the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) approved the first registered teacher apprenticeship program between Tennessee’s Clarksville-Montgomery County School System and Austin Peay State University. In fact, at last month’s 57th Annual NAPSA Conference our attendees were treated to a presentation by those who implemented this groundbreaking program, which was approved in January 2022. Presenters Lisa Baker, Traci Koon, and Dr. LaVetta Radford provided those present with the details involved in the construction of the Educator Pipeline Program, Clarksville-Montgomery County (TN) School System.

To date, 26 states and Puerto Rico have registered teacher apprenticeship programs with the DOL. Though the details of these apprenticeships can vary by state, the model essentially pays for a prospective teacher — whether a high school student, community member or paraprofessional — to receive mentoring as they go through in-classroom training along with coursework to earn a teaching degree and license.

In addition, the model has since expanded to include principals with the DOL’s approval of North Dakota as the first state to have a registered principal apprenticeship program in July 2023.

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