Montevallo introducing new scholarship to address teacher shortage

MONTEVALLO, Ala. (WBRC) – We are in the midst of a teacher shortage with rural communities perhaps hit the hardest. Now one local university is working to address the problem.

Educators at the University of Montevallo are creating a new scholarship to give students another reason to choose to become teachers and also convince them to make a difference in smaller rural communities first.

To be eligible for the new Rural Recruitment Scholarship, UM students have to be part of the Teacher Education Program.

The amount they get will be determined by how long they agree to teach in a rural community. The scholarships start at $2,500 for one calendar year, before jumping to $5,000 for two years and doubles to $10,000 if someone signs up to teach for three years.

Educators believe programs and scholarships like this are critical in creating change in the education field.

“Nationwide we are experiencing a teacher shortage and Alabama is not unique to any other place and we are really aware that this disproportionately affects those rural communities. This particular scholarship will encourage teacher candidates to go in to those rural schools,” said Montevallo Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Courtney Bentley. “The College of Education and Human Development is extremely grateful for these generous funds that will help us prepare highly qualified teachers to serve students in these rural communities.”

Dr. Bentley says the teacher shortage and incentive issue is one educators all over the state are working to tackle, and she believes this scholarship is a step in the right direction.

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