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UA Little Rock Gets $453K for Teacher Recruiting Project

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Nonprofit education group Forward Arkansas has awarded the University of Arkansas at Little Rock a $453,000 grant for a project that aims to improve K-12 teacher recruitment, training and retention in the state.

The grant is part of the second phase of the project. Altogether, UA Little Rock will be receiving direct funding and support from expert partners totaling more than $1.6 million over the next three years.

UA Little Rock and Southern Arkansas University were selected as grant recipients because the universities “developed bold, innovative plans for transformation” that “have the potential to dramatically impact the teacher pipeline” in the state, said Ben Kutylo, executive director of Forward Arkansas.

UA Little Rock will focus on increasing the number and diversity of candidates entering and graduating from their programs and transforming the entire experience for teacher candidates to be more practice-based, so teachers are ready for their classrooms on day one. One solutions to better prepare teachers includes paid residencies where teaching candidates will spend one year working with a partner school.

Sarah Beth Estes, dean of the College of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences and Education, and Kent Layton, director of the School of Education, will serve as UA Little Rock’s co-principal investigators on the grant.

UA Little Rock is partnering with local school districts to oversee the residency program that will begin during the fall 2023 semester. 

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