Bellarmine, JCPS announce teacher education collaboration

April 19, 2024

Bellramine teacher in a JCPS class

Bellarmine University and Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) are partnering on a new program that will allow adults who want to be teachers to get their master’s degree in teaching in just one year. The students will be enrolled in JCPS’ Louisville Teacher Residency program, which is recruiting and training more teachers, specifically more teachers of color.

“The Louisville Teacher Residency program is an example of JCPS owning and developing the responsibility for educating and training new teachers,” said Sylena Fishback, director of the Louisville Teacher Residency program. “This collaboration with Bellarmine will produce motivated, highly trained teachers who want a rewarding career impacting students and families in our community. Our community-wide certification pathway aims to increase the pipeline of quality candidates certified to teach in JCPS and increase teacher retention for some of our most valued school communities.”

JCPS has long been the largest employer of Bellarmine’s education graduates, and the university has previously offered outreach programs for master’s level credit. But this is the first time that Bellarmine has collaborated with the school district to provide a master’s in teaching aimed at increasing the number of teachers of color in JCPS classrooms.
“Bellarmine is excited to collaborate with JCPS to prepare more teachers for the unique needs of Louisville schools,” said Dr. Elizabeth Dinkins, dean of Bellarmine’s Annsley Frazier Thornton School of Education. “Our program focuses on developing deep content knowledge and understanding the needs of today’s students. We are also proud that it is extremely accessible, with discounted tuition.”    
Students must have a bachelor’s degree for entry into the program, but it does not have to be in education. Some applicants are expected to be degree holders looking to change careers. The students will receive a reduced tuition rate, a $33,000 stipend and will be paired with a mentoring teacher from JCPS. 
The accelerated degree program requires students to teach four days a week, with Bellarmine professors providing instruction in a hybrid model that combines online learning throughout the week and in-person classes no more than one night a week. Students may add a credential in special education to their elementary, middle or high school teaching credential.
Once participants complete the residency program and obtain teacher certification, they will be required to teach in a JCPS Accelerated Improvement School or a school approved by the district.  

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