NCS education apprenticeship announced, a model for the state
Gov. Beshear & Commissioner Glass celebrate NCS Apprenticeship Approval
An innovative program designed to serve students better and ease a workforce shortage was unveiled Tuesday that puts Nelson County Schools as a statewide leader in place-based learning.
The Kentucky Department of Education announced that NCS was awarded state and federal approval for a certified educator apprenticeship program, the first of its kind in Kentucky. The program will offer opportunities for high school students to work toward their education degree starting freshman year, and for some of them a paid apprenticeship months after graduation that puts them in the classroom under the mentorship of local teachers.
“We congratulate Nelson County Schools on winning state and federal approval for an innovative apprenticeship,” Gov. Andy Beshear said while announcing the program. “It is a win for our state as we expand our homegrown pool of teachers and a win for students who continue earning a college degree while being able to start their teaching career two years earlier.”
Education Commissioner Jason E. Glass said the NCS program is leading Kentucky.
“Our country needs to seek new, innovative solutions to solve the teacher shortage and I’m proud to see Kentucky leading the way with the apprenticeship program in Nelson County,” Glass said. “Putting students on the fast track to becoming teachers will bolster our educator workforce and stand as an example for what other states can do to fill their needs.”
NCS has partnered with Western Kentucky University and Elizabethtown Community and Technical College to enable students to start on an education pathway as early as their freshman year. Through the Education Collab, students can complete their core college coursework toward earning their bachelor’s degree through ECTC. They will also be immersed in 2 ½ hours of daily place-based learning. By the time they graduate high school, a student can earn up to 59 hours of college credit and 24 hours toward their teacher certification.
“Our country needs to seek new, innovative solutions to solve the teacher shortage, and I’m proud to see Kentucky leading the way with the apprenticeship program in Nelson County,” Glass said in announcing the program Tuesday.
Completing the course opens two options for the graduate.
A student who completes the Education Collab pathway and graduates can enroll at WKU for a traditional path toward earning a teaching degree and certification. With the head-start through the collab, a student could graduate college in two years. The majority of students will follow this course.
Some students will have the option to participate in a registered apprenticeship through NCS. Through the apprenticeship program they will be hired by the district and work as a student teacher while enrolled at WKU.
The apprenticeship program was created through the Tech Ready Apprentices for Careers in Kentucky (TRACK) youth apprenticeship model. The need for teachers in the workforce has never been greater, both in Kentucky and nationwide. Education and Labor Cabinet Secretary Jamie Link said this apprenticeship provides a faster pathway for students to enter the workforce and this program at NCS will serve as a model for other states facing similar circumstances..
“It positions Kentucky as a leader in addressing the critical teacher shortage throughout our country.” Education and Labor Cabinet Secretary Jamie Link
NCS Leaders provide vision, support
This apprenticeship model was made possible by a dedicated group of educators who have worked many hours with the best interest of our students and schools in their hearts. Sarah Durst and Suzan Sanders are leaders in the Education Collab who have the vision to make this program successful. Supporting them at the district level are our directors of next generation learning, Courtney Newton and Teresa Henderson; Karen Lee, director of community centered programs; and Laura Arnold, director of workforce development.
The Nelson County Area Technology Center unveiled its newest career pathway, heavy equipment, to the community and industry professionals. Program instructor Scott Thompson highlights his future for the early stages of the pathway. Thompson will helm this new pathway designed to give students hands-on experience with heavy machinery such as skid steers and excavators.
In the coming weeks, NCS leaders will begin working closely with community members to develop a larger vision for career programming that would potentially lead to a transition of the Bloomfield Middle School campus. Diesel Technology and Heavy Equipment Operations are two high demand career programs that will be on the table for potential expansion of the UP Center into Bloomfield.
Nelson County Schools has solidified a remarkable partnership with CHI and Flaget Memorial Hospital, heralding a new era of opportunities for students pursuing careers in the Health Science Pathway. The collaborative initiative between NCS and the local hospital aims to provide aspiring healthcare professionals with unparalleled access to real-world experiences and invaluable networking prospects.
As summer break comes to a close, we want to celebrate a truly amazing summer of learning! Through the Summer Leadership Pathway Nelson County Schools has offered several internal opportunities for learning and growth. However - some leaders across NCS just can’t get enough. From FFA conferences to PBL Works in Napa Valley, California and more - our leaders are models for lifelong learning.
The Nelson County Schools Leadership Institute is pioneering an innovative six-week program tailored to career professionals with a passion for teaching. The program, designed to equip participants with teaching certifications, offers an accelerated curriculum that covers essential educational content, providing a substantial savings in time and money compared to traditional teacher education programs.