School district, UNF land $7 million grant

Monitor Editor

KEYSTONE HEIGHTS— Clay County District Schools, along with the University of North Florida’s College of Education and Human Services and UNF’s College of Arts and Sciences have been awarded an over $7 Million partnership grant to address the critical teacher shortage and create equitable teaching outcomes for every student.

According to a UNF news release, Project PREP, which stands for Partnering to Renew the Educator Pipeline, spans five years, with first-year funding at $1,012,347.

“This school-university-district partnership grant is a systemic approach to building an educator pathway to enhance the recruitment, preparation, induction, and retention of teachers and teacher leaders across the teacher pipeline in a high-need school district,” UNF said.

Clay Schools Superintendent David Broskie said teachers and students will benefit from his organization participating in Project PREP.

“No doubt we have all seen that there is a national teacher shortage and a need for strong teacher preparation programs for recruitment and retention of educators”, he said. “We know that the greatest influence on a student’s academic achievement is a strong, well-trained teacher. This partnership will allow us to invest in the next generation of teachers and leaders who will help our students achieve their dreams.”

The project consists of five components that will help develop and diversify the educator workforce. These components include high school dual enrollment, undergraduate teacher preparation and certification, new teacher induction, teacher leadership graduate certificates and advanced credentials.

The credentials component may result in a master’s in education at UNF for project participants, or a doctorate in educational leadership offered through the university.

Each component will be aligned with the infusion of 10 PREP research-based strands for equity and inclusion.

PREP will be led by principal investigator Dr. Rebecca West Burns.

“We are ecstatic at the news of this award,” said Burns. “This support will allow us not only to deepen, but also to take our partnership with Clay County to the next level, and together transform teacher education for northeast Florida. The results of this grant could serve as a model for rethinking the educator pipeline in Florida as well as the nation.”