Inside INdiana Business

IU Northwest, Gary Schools form unique partnership

GARY, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — A first-of-its-kind partnership between Indiana University Northwest’s School of Education and the Gary Community School Corporation is boosting teacher qualifications through a special program. Teachers who are working on an emergency permit in Gary Schools may enroll in the program to become fully licensed teachers in 18-24 months.

School systems with teacher shortages are allowed to ask individuals with a bachelor’s degree in any field to apply for a permit to teach in Indiana, with the permit being active for two years. After the two-year period, teachers may renew once, then are required to return to school to acquire a license to continue teaching. Gary reports about 10% of their teachers have the special two-year permit. 

Gary schools used its portion of Title 1 funding to pay fees for enrolling qualified applicants in the mild intervention program, the newly-created elementary licensure program, special education and secondary program. IU Northwest Dean of the School of Education, Mark Sperling, says a group of 30 teachers will enter one of the licensure programs starting this summer.

“I feel so positive about our relationship with the Gary schools,” Sperling said. “This program will undoubtedly result in strengthened academic achievement in Gary by ensuring teachers are fully invested in the education of their students. These are the folks who are committed to being the best teacher they can be and are eager to meet all qualifications to become fully licensed.”

Sperling says GCSC applicants are still being accepted, and that the program will be extended to other schools in need.