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Aspiring teachers encouraged to apply to programs aimed at addressing Illinois’ teacher shortage crisis 

ILLINOIS – Golden Apple, a non-profit committed to preparing, supporting and mentoring aspiring teachers, is now accepting applications for both its Accelerators and Scholars programs. Golden Apple seeks to provide a pathway for aspiring educators to enter the profession through these programs and fill crucial open teaching positions across the state.

Illinois faces an ongoing teacher shortage crisis, leading to classrooms lacking the highly-effective, well-qualified educators our students deserve. According to the 2022 – 2023 Educator Shortage Report from the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents, 79% of school districts statewide reported having a teacher shortage problem in 2022, with more than 2700 open teacher, special education, and support staff positions remaining unfilled or filled with someone less than qualified. The teacher shortage crisis leads to teacher burnout, overcrowded classrooms, and a lack of educators in areas such as bilingual and special education and STEM.

“Opening applications for our Scholars and Accelerators programs is always an exciting time for Golden Apple, but it’s particularly meaningful this year as we look to welcome the largest classes of Scholars and Accelerators in our history,” said Golden Apple President Alan Mather. “There are so many people out there looking for a way to make a difference in the lives of future generations who just need a path to get into the classroom. Golden Apple’s Scholars and Accelerators programs provide that path, and we encourage all of those interested in teaching to apply. We look forward to hearing from inspiring future teachers from all across our state!”

The Accelerators program is a 15-month teacher residency and licensure program that expedites the preparation of highly-effective teachers in areas-of-need throughout the state. Geared toward career changers with a bachelor’s degree and current college students not already on a teaching path, program participants take courses at a partner university, receive instruction from established educators, and work with mentors who provide ongoing support throughout the school year and into their first years of teaching. Accelerators receive a $10,000 stipend and have their University-based licensure tuition and fees funded by the program.

The Scholars program focuses on teacher preparation and tuition assistance for high school seniors as well as freshman and sophomore college students in Illinois who have the determination and drive to teach. Scholars receive up to $23,000 in financial assistance, extensive classroom teaching experience, academic and social-emotional support, job placement assistance and mentoring from Golden Apple’s award-winning teaching faculty. Throughout the history of the program, 53% of Golden Apple Scholars have been Scholars of color and 97% of Scholars find employment within 90 days of graduation.

To learn more and apply for either the Accelerators or Scholars program, interested parties can and

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