SPRINGFIELD, Missouri – Evangel University’s Education Department recently received a $30,000 teacher recruitment grant from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to help address teacher shortages and encourage the recruitment of more male candidates and candidates of color as well as prospective teachers in hard-to-staff content areas.
Grant proposals focused on ways to encourage innovation, support existing program efforts, and creation of context-specific programming to further the goals of increased teacher recruitment.
As part of the grant funding, Evangel will partner with other local colleges and universities to create and support a social media campaign focused on teacher recruitment. Education faculty will also connect with local high school counselors to create pipelines for students interested in pursuing education degrees and host Future Teacher days on campus to highlight education-related degrees to high school students.
The student club Student Missouri State Teachers Association (SMSTA) will host events at several partnership schools to meet the needs of students lacking resources to succeed.
In addition, an introductory teacher education course and practicum will be developed and offered through the university’s expansive dual enrollment program, allowing high school seniors the opportunity to earn college credit. Scholarships for these courses will be available, as will financial assistance towards testing fees in the areas of Math, Science, and Special Education.
Dr. Kelly Sutherland, professor of education and coordinator of the Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction Leadership program, played a key role in securing grant funding for the university.
“For several years, a trend in teacher attrition and fewer people seeking teacher certification has steadily grown, leaving school districts short of teacher candidates in critical areas,” Sutherland said. “This decline in teacher candidates impacts all schools, but especially those with high percentages in color, poverty, and rural remote schools. We hope this grant funding will enable us to reach more future teachers and prepare them to excel in the classroom.”
Sutherland has taught for 35 years in the field of education as a public-school teacher, building administrator/principal, and university professor. She supports her local community by serving on the district school board and various school committees.
Sutherland holds an Ed.D. in Educational Administration and an Ed.S. from Lindenwood University, a Master of Education in Educational Administration (K-12) from William Woods University, a Master in Elementary Education from Missouri State University, and a Bachelor of Science in Elementary & Early Childhood Education from Central Methodist University.
The Education Department at Evangel offers a wide range of majors for students interested in pursuing a teaching profession. Degrees include early childhood, elementary and middle school education; plus specialized majors in art, biology, business, chemistry, communication, English, math, music, social science, Spanish, theatre/speech, and physical education.
Evangel University, with the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary (AGTS), is a comprehensive Christian university committed to excellence in educating and equipping students to serve the Church and society globally. Evangel and AGTS serve more than 2,200 students from all 50 states and numerous foreign countries, offering 70 undergraduate majors and 19 master and doctoral degrees.