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UIndy program gets high school students interested in teaching

UIndy program gets high school students interested in teaching

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — With thousands of open teacher positions across Indiana, one university is trying to help fill the gap.

Some high school students are getting an early jump on learning about the teaching profession at the for the Teacher Prep Academy

As of Thursday, over 2,100 job openings were listed in Indiana, according to the Department of Education’s website.

The University of Indianapolis is hosting 30 students from 11 high schools in the UIndy Teacher Prep Academy. Those schools include Avon, Beech Grove, Christel House Indianapolis, Clark-Pleasant, Decatur Township, Franklin Township, Lawrence Township, Pike Township, Southern Hancock, Warren Township, and Wayne Township.

The students live and eat on campus for a week. High schoolers also get paired up with college mentors who are education majors. They take a dual-credit class. It’s all free.

Classes are taught by UIndy professors.  

When students are done, each one will have three education credits for college.

The coordinator of the Teacher Prep Academy says a negative spotlight has put on the teaching profession. Students who are a part of the program say they’re working on changing that stigma.  

Lucy Len Dim, a junior at Southport High School, said, “When I was in fourth grade I used to volunteer in my first-grade classroom with this teacher, and the kids, like, loved me, and I loved the kids. It was so fun. But also, it was like a lot of teachers have made a really big impact on me, and they’ve helped me grow into a growth mindset, and I want to be able to do that for other students.”  

Len Dim says she plans on attending college to be a teacher.  

This is the second year UIndy offered the Teacher Prep Academy. Organizers tell me they hope to continue it for years to come.  

UIndy’s School of Education also received a $712,000 grant. It’s focus is to partner with surrounding school districts to recruit and retain teachers, and establish a positive image of the teaching profession in Indianapolis and the rest of Marion County.