Teacher Pathway Program
"Talent Together" is a consortium of nearly 50 Regional Education Service Agencies (RESA) and Intermediate School Districts (ISDs), including Jackson County ISD, that have formed an innovative partnership to address the teacher shortage crisis in Michigan. Dubbed “Talent Together,” the partnership includes districts spanning dozens of counties—from the Upper Peninsula to Southeast Michigan—that collectively serve more than one million students. To date, this is the largest educational collaboration of its kind in state history. Jackson County ISD was one of the original seven intermediate school districts that got the wheels turning on this unique program.
The partnership will include pathways for aspiring teachers of all education levels, including those who do not yet have a bachelor’s degree. Focused on teacher quality, this innovative model will also make use of apprenticeships, a way to develop educators that is newly recognized by the United States Department of Labor. Program fellows who are seeking certification will be required to meet federal apprenticeship guidelines, which means at least one year of “practice” in classrooms and fully paid at a competitive wage.
Talent Together will identify pathways for each of these certifications. On Dec. 1, the consortium launched a request for proposal (RFP) asking Michigan colleges and universities to offer proposals that would meet the partnership’s needs.
The Talent Together consortium has been working together since early summer 2022 but began to pick up steam as the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) announced an upcoming Grow Your Own grant based on the legislature’s allocation of $175M for that purpose. The group has been working with education talent experts at the Michigan Educator Workforce Initiative, to design the innovative program.
The program plans to welcome its first cohort of teacher candidates in the fall of 2023. For more information, visit the MI Talent Together website at www.mitalenttogether.org.
1.) Remove barriers to the teaching profession by creating flexible and accessible pathways for aspiring teachers.
2.) Significantly reduce vacancies in the certification areas identified as highest-need, including special education and early childhood settings.
3.) Improve alignment of teacher and student demographics in participating districts by targeting recruitment efforts towards under-represented candidates and by removing common barriers to program entry and completion.
4.) Improve educational outcomes for students served by program participants through the development of essential teacher skills and mindsets and differential retention of highly-qualified and well-prepared teaching candidates.
5.) Increase retention of novice and experienced teachers through the development of professional learning experiences and career advancement opportunities.
6.) Improve the economic mobility of candidates in support staff roles by providing paid, job-embedded opportunities to advance their careers.