Kalamazoo Public Schools (KPS), in partnership with Kalamazoo Valley Community College (KVCC) and Western Michigan University (WMU), have created Teach Kalamazoo, the overarching umbrella for the Kalamazoo Public Schools' robust Grow Your Own (GYO) Teacher Residency programs. Pathways include apprenticeships and numerous on-ramps into the teaching profession for undergraduate and graduate students, staff, parents, paraprofessionals, for anyone with an existing bachelors degree, and/or anyone who is interested in entering the honorable and fulfilling profession of teaching. Funding is available to help support many of these pathways to help absorb tuition and other costs associated with obtaining a degree. Some of these programs provide a stipend to help offset additional costs.
The Future Educator Scholar Program is one of these great GYO and progressive on-ramps for teacher preparation created for KPS students who are interested in the teaching profession as early as 6th grade. Articulated teaching career pathways have also been created for students to pursue from middle school to college to streamline their educational pathway in the areas of early childhood or elementary through dual enrollment. Students can take a full-year of courses at KVCC that transfer directly to WMU's teaching program. Students can take educational courses in 6th, 7th, or 8th grade, and in high school. Students can participate in Young Educator Scholar (YES) Clubs at their school and be mentored by college students in the teaching education programs at KVCC or WMU.
There are six teaching pathways that students can take to begin their career journey of obtaining their teaching degree while still in high school and dual enrolled in a higher education institution. These pathways include through Career Launch Kalamazoo (CLK) Youth Apprenticeship Program, Teacher Academy through Career and Technical Education (CTE), Early Middle College (EMC), through the traditional dual-enrollment process, or by pursuing a teaching education degree after high school graduation.
Student Scholars can be enrolled in on-site educational courses offered in middle school and high school at their home school, engage in experiential learning, skill building, and networking events, participate in Yes Clubs at their school, and be mentored by local college students who are also pursuing the goal of becoming a future teacher. Research shows that these types of early career experiences and exposure foster positive beliefs and behaviors that promote self-efficacy, self-confidence, and self-motivation as students develop strong self-concepts, career development and self-management skills, and dispositions, and set foreseeable and realistic goals for career, college, and workplace success.
Student Scholars will also have the opportunity to participate in paid internships or apprenticeships in KPS classrooms while obtaining their teaching degree. KPS students have the option of working as an apprentice, guest teacher, intern, or paraprofessional in a KPS classroom under a highly skilled teacher mentor. Students can also work in the KPS summer school program. KPS will serve as the partner employer through the Department of Labor to ensure that students are immersed in researched best practices and well-prepared as they team and develop diverse and multi-faceted skills and competencies necessary for a strong and successful teaching foundation and career.
Students who are interested in becoming a Future Educator Scholar should see their school counselor to get started. Anyone who is interested in learning more about a pursuing a career in teaching should contact our Human Resources Department to obtain further information and guidance.
Let KPS find a teaching pathway that will work for you!