New Kansas State University teaching program, fellowship target western Kansas and urban schools
Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2016
MANHATTAN — College graduates who want to teach at the elementary school level have an innovative, one-year pathway to the classroom thanks to the College of Education at Kansas State University.
Kansas Transitions to Teaching Fellowships are available for those interested in teaching in underserved districts in Kansas, such as in western Kansas, Kansas City, Topeka and Wichita. Funded by the Kansas Board of Regents, these $6,000 tuition fellowships and $750 technology stipends are for career changers who pursue the university's Master of Arts in teaching degree and work in an underserved area. Successful program completers will also be recommended for a K-6 teaching license.
The Master of Arts in teaching is an intensive, 12-month online degree specifically designed for people who have already earned a bachelor's degree but want to pursue their dream of teaching. It enables qualified Kansans and residents of other states to earn the degree in 12 months and be recommended for a Kansas initial teacher licensure in grades K-6.
The rigorous curriculum is delivered by online coursework, and field experiences are arranged in accredited elementary schools convenient to students in the program. Students are able to complete the program from any location in Kansas. Classes begin in May, and Kansas State University is now accepting applications at global.k-state.edu/education/mateaching/.
Kansas Transitions to Teaching fellows must complete the program, obtain the necessary licensure and engage in full-time teaching in an underserved geographic area in Kansas within six months of licensure.
Debbie Mercer, dean of the College of Education, believes this innovative program can help address the state's and nation's projected teacher needs while maintaining high professional standards.
"The college frequently receives inquiries from college graduates who want to become teachers but there has been no path available to them, other than the bachelor degree in education," Mercer said. "Now, they have a road to that goal from a trusted, cost-effective program that has prepared teachers for more than 150 years."
Thomas Vontz, professor of curriculum and instruction, said the program helps mitigate many of the financial, educational and geographic obstacles that prevent people who are highly interested in becoming a teacher from doing so.
"Our first cohort of 49 students — who will finish their degrees in May — included highly talented people from a variety of backgrounds who shared the common goal of wanting to become elementary teachers," Vontz said. "We believe the Master of Arts in teaching and Kansas Transitions to Teaching programs will prepare highly effective elementary teachers for classrooms in underserved school districts."
For more information about the Master of Arts in teaching program, visit global.k-state.edu/education/mateaching/.