【N.J】 Rider University joins local school district’s fight against teacher shortage – – – New Jersey News

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LAWRENCEVILLE – To help combat the national teacher shortage, Rider University is partnering with the West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District to offer a new program that aids school district support staff employees in becoming teachers.

According to a statement from the university, Pathways to Teaching will allow eligible West Windsor-Plainsboro Service Association (WWPSA) employees, including instructional assistants, cafeteria aides, custodians, bus drivers, secretaries, and other support staff, to receive tuition assistance for the completion of a bachelor’s degree in their chosen field and/or a teaching certificate.

Employees and their immediate family members may also be eligible for a 20% tuition reduction through Rider’s partnership with the State of New Jersey.

“We are excited to announce our new partnership with Rider University that will provide our instructional assistants and support staff with the opportunity to transition into certified staff members,” said Dr. David Aderhold West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District superintendent. “These employees provide essential services that have a significant and positive impact on our students and the larger school community. By offering this program, we aim to not only benefit our employees but also strengthen the district’s robust and diverse teaching staff, and the quality of education in our community.”

“I’m very excited about this partnership,” said Dr. Jason Barr Dean of the College of Education and Human Services at Rider.  “West Windsor-Plainsboro (WWP) has always supported our teachers-in-training and hired many of our graduates. This is a wonderful opportunity to expand that partnership by offering high-quality teacher training to the WWP support staff, teacher aides, and other service professionals.”

Beginning in the fall 2023 semester, the University will offer a $2,000 annual scholarship for eligible incoming first-year and transfer undergraduate education majors. The University has also been coordinating with school districts to help create “grow your own” programs that would help teacher aides and other paraprofessionals obtain a bachelor’s degree and then complete the University’s alternate route teaching certificate program.

Those interested in learning more about the Pathways to Teaching program, can visit rider.edu/wwpsa.

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