Virginia grant helps veterans become teachers

RICHMOND, Va. – A $400,000 grant given to the Virginia Department of Education will help military veterans and soon-to-be veterans become teachers.

The grant was awarded through a U.S. Department of Defense agency called Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Educational Support.

It will establish a Troops to Teachers Center at the College of William & Mary which will provide guidance and assistance to veterans. It will also assist those who are within one year of exiting the military and are interested in pursuing a teaching career in Virginia.

“Virginia boasts one of the largest veteran and military populations and is home to some of the nation’s most important military installations,” said Governor McAuliffe. “That is why the Troops to Teachers program is so important to the military-connected citizens of the Commonwealth. This program will help address the teacher shortage in Virginia and provide our veterans with opportunities to bring their experiences and skills into the classroom. These are the kind of innovative opportunities that will allow our nation’s heroes to succeed in the new Virginia economy.”

The project will work to attract and increase the number of eligible participants in the Troops to Teachers program, assist veterans in meeting educational and licensure requirements for transitioning into teaching careers, help alleviate critical teacher shortages, especially in high-needs schools and increase the number of veterans employed as teachers.

The College of William & Mary will also conduct a pilot program offering veterans three levels of support.

Tier 1 introduces participants to the teaching professing and includes job shadowing, career coaching, credential review, and development of an individualized plan for meeting licensure requirements.

Tier 2 provides assistance in participant placement in the classroom and includes personalized support during the assignment from an experienced teacher coach.

Tier 3 provides professional support to those in the classroom and includes continued access to resources and opportunities for professional growth and leadership.