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Omaha Public Schools collaborates with UNO to help retain current teachers

OMAHA, Nebraska (TheSarpyCounty) — A nationwide teacher shortage has had repercussions for school systems, students, other educators, and parents. Many have attributed the shortfall to the epidemic, demands on teachers, a shift in the workforce, and increased demand, to name a few.

Due of the obstacles, Omaha Public Schools (OPS) and the University of Nebraska-Omaha (UNO) have collaborated to overcome the gaps.

Four programs will receive $14.8 million from OPS ESSER money to assist retain current instructors and build a pipeline for high school and college students.

“I do not believe in throwing up your hands in the face of a crisis; rather, you should roll up your sleeves. We have two options, the first of which is to move forward and collaborate with our partners to create possibilities for our youth “Dr. Cheryl Logan, OPS Superintendent, stated.

“We’re here to solve genuine issues. We’re not going to discuss it; we’re going to fix it “Joanne Li, chancellor of the University of Nevada, remarked.

Included in the four programs is the Teacher Advanced Academics Graduate Program, which allows existing OPS instructors to become qualified to teach dual enrollment programs by offering graduate courses to high school teachers who qualify. Accelerating Teacher Learning is a program that allows instructors to increase their skill set.

The Teacher Academy Project assists those with a bachelor’s degree in a different field to return to school and obtain their teaching credentials. The Teacher Scholar Academy Program establishes a pathway for UNO students to enter teacher preparation programs.

River Magisana, a recent graduate of Benson High School and current member in the Teacher Scholar Academy, is grateful for the opportunity because the programs provide complete scholarships, allowing students and instructors to enhance their skill sets for free and removing barriers.

“I honestly believe that if the Teacher Scholar Program did not exist, I would not be a teacher. It has been of immeasurable assistance in affording college “Magisana stated. “As a first-generation college student, completing the cycle that my parents were unable to is extremely important to me. Without the TSA’s assistance, I would likely be pursuing a different path.”

Magisana is enthusiastic and aspires to become a high school English language arts teacher. He claims that his devotion stems from personal experience.

“The lack of assistance I encountered as a student with learning challenges inspired me, and I knew I didn’t want another student to experience what I experienced,” Magisana said. “I had to figure out everything on my own and assemble the pieces by myself. I believe that teaching shapes the lives of pupils.”

Magisana is in the first cohort of the program in conjunction with OPS and UNO, although UNO has experience with similar programs and reports a success rate of over 90%.

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