Monday, November 22, 2010

Academy guides Lanphier seniors toward teaching

Coady Petropolous is one of 10 Lanphier High School seniors enrolled in the school’s teaching academy course — a yearlong class that takes a handful of students who show interest in becoming teachers and provides hands-on, daily classroom experience.

The course, now in its fourth year, also facilitates a chance to enter a small-but-mighty program at the University of Illinois Springfield that all but ensures a full-time teaching position with a local school district.

Once the students graduate from high school, each has an opportunity to be recommended for Project Midstate Student Support — a program founded in 1990 at the UIS College of Education and Human Services.

Dr. Loretta Meeks, the founding director of Project MSS and a professor in UIS’ teacher education department, said the program aims to teach local students in the hopes of producing local teachers.

Once accepted, students are eligible for scholarships that may pay for their entire tuition and often lead to a permanent teaching position in the Springfield or Decatur school districts.

The program partners with area community colleges, UIS and the Springfield and Decatur school districts, with a total of 50 students enrolled in the UIS program, drawing from each entity.

The program was featured in a November 19, 2010, article in The State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article