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K-State News
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K-STEP UP takes big step forward in 'grow your own' teacher initiative

Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019


MANHATTAN — Administrators and faculty from Kansas State University's College of Education will meet with education leaders in both the Kansas City and Liberal school districts to discuss the next phase of a $1.6 million partnership grant called K-STEP UP that aims to supply each school district with new local teachers.

K-STEP UP is an acronym for Kansas Statewide Teacher Education Pathway for Underserved and Place-bound, a program that provides a pathway for students in Kansas City and Liberal who want to become teachers and who intend to remain in their home community. The K-STEP UP grant, written by K-State faculty, creates a seamless education path that starts in high school and culminates with support during the graduates' first two years in the classroom.

The meetings in Kansas City will take place Friday, Sept 13. K-State administrators will meet at 10:30 a.m. with Hira Niar, professor and teacher education program coordinator at Kansas City Kansas Community College, and at 1 p.m. with Kim Smith, director of professional workforce development, at Kansas City Kansas Public Schools.

At 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, K-State administrators and faculty will meet with Liberal High School's Ashley Kappelman, principal, and Sheri King, English language arts teacher and grant coordinator, along with Luke Dowell, dean of instruction at Seward Community College.

Those attending the meetings from the K-State College of Education are Todd Goodson, assistant dean, professor and chair of the curriculum and instruction department; Marcus Kidd, assistant director of enrollment management and institutional partnerships; Tonnie Martinez, assistant professor and coordinator of the Office of Innovation and Collaboration; Lori Levin, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction; Mechelle Martinez, academic advisor; T.J. Duntz, academic advisor; and LouAnn Getz, K-STEP UP program manager.

The innovative K-STEP UP program allows for 60 future teachers — half from each community — to earn associate degrees at their local community colleges and complete their bachelor's degrees online through K-State. The program targets underserved populations and individuals who want to teach in rural areas.

While still in high school, K-STEP UP participants are eligible to attend K-State's successful weeklong immersive camp, the Kansas Advanced Teacher Academy. Students from Liberal and Kansas City participated in the camp this summer.

K-STEP UP provides multiple entry points for future teachers. They can access the program by joining their high school's teaching career pathway program, taking classes at Kansas City Kansas Community College or Seward County Community College, or enrolling in K-State's online elementary education degree program. 

Future teachers in K-STEP UP will complete site-based, one-year clinical residencies followed by a two-year induction as they begin their teaching career.

For more information about the program, please visit coe.k-state.edu/k-step-up/index.html.


Todd Goodson

News tip

Kansas City and Liberal


K-Step Up

Written by

Patrice Scott