The University of North Florida’s College of Education and Human Services (COEHS) has been awarded $283,708 for the Jacksonville Teacher Residency (JTR) program from AmeriCorps to prepare teachers in the urban classroom setting.
This federal funding, administrated by Volunteer Florida, will support 29 graduate and undergraduate teacher candidates who will complete a service-learning residency in Duval County’s high-need schools. In addition to this program grant, over $112,000 in college scholarships will be awarded to all who successfully complete one year of service.
“The JTR program is a unique collaboration of COEHS partners and resources that provides the community with a group of highly sought-after and skilled educators specialized to teach in STEM areas,” said Dr. Diane Yendol-Hoppey, UNF’s COEHS dean/professor. “We are preparing these future teachers with the background and experience needed to serve students who are most in need.”
The JTR program is a partnership between UNF and the Duval County Public Schools, supported by the National Science Foundation and the Jacksonville Public Education Fund. The selective residency program blends a full-year classroom apprenticeship experience with master’s level course work in education to prepare students to teach in local urban schools.
JTR AmeriCorps Residents not only serve in classrooms through the apprenticeship, they also serve the community by engaging in several service-learning projects each year. Service activities include the MLK Day of Service, American Red Cross fire prevention campaign, Expanding Your Horizons STEM Conference for Girls, STEM workshops, food drives and school-beautification projects.
This is the fourth year that UNF’s COEHS has received the AmeriCorps grant. Funding for the last three previous years has helped support 39 JTR/AmeriCorps residents. The success of the program shows in students’ achievements. During 2016-17, JTR residents targeted students in the lower 25 percent achievement in math and science and 78 percent of the targeted students showed learning gains by the end of the school year.
The JTR program is one of the 38 programs in Florida that AmeriCorps funds. AmeriCorps is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that engages millions of Americans in service and leads volunteer initiatives for the nation. Volunteer Florida is the lead agency for volunteerism and national service in Florida.