Professionals with a bachelor’s degree who have ever considered switching to a career in teaching may have a fast track to achieve that goal.
Calumet College of St. Joseph, the Big Shoulders Fund Northwest Indiana and the Catholic Diocese of Gary have launched the Northwest Indiana Teachers Scholarship, which will offer full tuition scholarships for individuals interested in participating in the Transition to Teaching program at Calumet College of St. Joseph. The participating organizations are providing $450,000 over three years to fund 10 scholarships annually.
“The education program at Calumet College of St. Joseph empowers teacher candidates to improve their personal lives and create a more equitable society through education,” said Johnny Craig, senior vice president for enrollment, marketing and athletics at Calumet College of St. Joseph, which has a Whiting address but is in Hammond. “We are thrilled to be able to make this investment in partnership with Big Shoulders Fund Northwest Indiana and the Catholic Diocese of Gary and, in doing so, attract additional high-quality teachers to the Northwest Indiana Catholic school ecosystem.”
Transition to Teaching is an abbreviated statewide program which assists professionals with a bachelor’s degree get into a teaching career. The program prepares candidates to teach early childhood education, elementary education, secondary classes, or all-grade classes.
Transition to Teaching consists of 18 hours of coursework for secondary education and 24 hours for elementary education, early childhood education, and P-12 education. Scholarship recipients who attend Calumet College of St. Joseph can enroll in elementary and secondary licensure tracks beginning in fall 2022 to be fully licensed by fall 2023.
“Building a strong pipeline of teachers is an integral part of fulfilling Big Shoulders Fund’s mission to ensure that all children have access to a high-quality education in a safe and supportive environment,” said Dan Kozlowski, managing director of Big Shoulders Fund Northwest Indiana. “We are honored to be able to invest in the future educators of Northwest Indiana, in partnership with Calumet College of St. Joseph and the Diocese of Gary, to help make becoming a teacher more accessible and provide aspiring educators with opportunities to make a transformative impact on students.”
Candidates applying to the Transition to Teaching program at Calumet College of St. Joseph must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited higher education institution. As part of the Northwest Indiana Teachers Scholarship application process, candidates must submit a 500-word essay, as well as participate in an interview with members of Calumet College of St. Joseph, Big Shoulders Fund Northwest Indiana and the Catholic Diocese of Gary.
After completing the program, scholarship recipients will likely be placed in a teaching position in one of the 20 schools in the Catholic Diocese of Gary. Teachers who receive placement will be asked to commit to three years of teaching in the Catholic school where they are placed.
Throughout the program, Big Shoulders Fund Northwest Indiana will also provide ongoing professional development to support the success of each scholarship recipient.
“Catholic schools offer access to academic excellence in a values-based framework that is welcoming to all regardless of religion, ethnicity race or income,” said Joseph Majchrowicz, superintendent of schools in the Catholic Diocese of Gary. “We hope this scholarship will attract more passionate educators to bring their skills and enthusiasm to further strengthen our Catholic schools.”
Additional information on the program is available on the Calumet College of St. Joseph website. Scholarship applications will be accepted through Aug. 6.