Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and Teach For America Tennessee Executive Director Brad Leon joined Lipscomb University President L. Randolph Lowry on campus today to celebrate Lipscomb’s selection as the local education partner for Nashville’s first Teach For America teaching corps, arriving this fall.
Lipscomb College of Education Dean Candice McQueen with Mayor Dean and Pres. Lowry
“We have recognized, as a community, the critical link between great teachers and great schools,” said Mayor Karl Dean, who was instrumental in bringing Teach For America to Nashville. “I congratulate and applaud Lipscomb for providing the necessary training for Nashville’s first Teach For America corps members.”
“Lipscomb joins an elite group of universities that work with Teach For America preparing our talented young leaders for service in our nation’s high need classrooms,” said Brad Leon, Tennessee’s Teach For America executive director. “Lipscomb’s College of Education has an excellent reputation. Their strong academic standing and commitment to serving students in Nashville’s Public Schools make this a perfect partnership as we launch our new Nashville initiative to ensure that all students have access to an excellent education.”
In 2008, nearly 25,000 applicants to Teach For America competed for 3,700 teaching positions. The selected graduates commit at least two years to teaching in urban and rural public schools and to becoming lifelong leaders in expanding educational opportunity.
“I am grateful that Mayor Dean had the vision and leadership to bring Teach For America to Nashville,” said Lipscomb University President Randy Lowry. “I look forward to welcoming these new teachers to campus.”
“Lipscomb is honored to partner with this innovative program that offers one solution to the complex challenges facing our public school system,” said Lowry of the new collaboration. “Providing Teach For America educators with the required coursework for licensure is one way Lipscomb University can serve the community.”
The 50 incoming members of Nashville’s Teach For America corps hold degrees from various academic majors and will begin teaching in selected high-need schools with alternative licenses. This school year, full licensure will be earned through classes at Lipscomb University. Lipscomb also will be the site for the program’s summer orientation which will take place after corps members return from Teach For America’s training institute in Atlanta.
Since the state approved the use of alternative teacher licensure, Lipscomb’s College of Education has been leading the way in recruiting quality professionals from different fields into the classroom.
“Because of our long history of close collaboration with Metro schools we have a keen awareness of the need for qualified teachers. When alternative licensure was approved, we were ready with a variety of unique teacher certification programs,” said Candice McQueen, dean of Lipscomb’s College of Education. “Through these programs we are training individuals from many different professional backgrounds to become teachers. I’m truly pleased that these efforts will be magnified by our partnership with such a well-respected and proven organization -- Teach For America.”
Today, 6,200 Teach For America corps members are teaching in more than 1,600 schools in 29 regions across the country. More than 14,000 Teach For America alumni continue working from inside and outside the field of education for the fundamental changes necessary to ensure educational excellence and equity.