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The University of Illinois Springfield School of Education and Springfield School District 186 have come together to support the new Diverse Workforce Pipeline Program.

The program aims to increase the number of diverse teachers throughout District 186 classrooms and hopes to have at least 24 paraprofessionals enrolled in the pipeline at UIS over the next two years.

The new pipeline will allow current paraprofessionals, including substitute teachers, teacher’s aides and volunteers, already working for District 186 to finish the educational requirements needed to become fully-licensed teachers.

The accelerated program will allow students to become teachers in under two years, and will focus on diversifying the teacher workforce with teachers of color and first-generation college students. 

“We are working together to reduce the teacher shortage in District 186, to fill the gap,” said Christie Magoulias, PhD, interim director of the UIS School of Education. “For the past several years, District 186 has needed additional teachers in areas such as early childhood, secondary education and special education. The need is everywhere.”

This story appeared on WAND News on March 2, 2022.