Pocahontas County Schools Superintendent Terrence Beam (l) with Glenville State College President Dr. Tracy Pellett at the “Home Grown” signing ceremony which was held at the state capitol. Photo courtesy of Glenville State College

In an effort to address the growing teacher shortage in West Virginia, Glenville State College is doing its part to fill vacancies through a “Home Grown” approach.

The number of teacher vacancies in the Mountain State has risen dramatically, from more than 400 three years ago to 700 in 2017, increasing concerns about the long-term educational and economic impact for families and the state. Vacancies are particularly acute in special education, math, early education and science.

“Glenville State College has a history of training teachers going back all the way to 1872, and we are prepared to take a focused and intentional lead in encouraging enrollment in teacher programs, particularly in the identified shortage areas,” Glenville State College President Dr. Tracy Pellett said. “We know that addressing this teacher shortage matches the vision of Governor Justice and several other state lawmakers and GSC agrees that the time is now.”

Through coordinated college and public school partnerships, GSC plans to address focused and joint teacher identification, financial and scholarship support for candidate attendance to college, and practical experiences and mentoring during teacher preparation and into the start of full-time teaching.

Students who are interested in enrolling in GSC’s education program and taking part in the “Home Grown” initiative can expect to take part in peer and professional mentoring, advising, intensive tutoring, real-world teaching experiences in their home county, and the opportunity to enhance their teaching knowledge and appreciation of teaching.

“This initiative would provide an opportunity for our students who intend to become teachers and want to get their education close to home. It also provides an incentive that rewards excellence in the classroom with additional scholarship opportunities. Finally, addressing the teacher shortage is of great importance and priority,” said Pocahontas County Schools Superintendent Terrence Beam.

Annual competitive scho-larships ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 are also available for students in the “Home Grown” initiative. Other assorted foundation and community based scholarships are also available to offset costs. Students are reminded that any awards from the institution cannot exceed the full tuition and fees amount.

At present only students from Gilmer, Braxton, Calhoun, Doddridge, Fayette, Kanawha, Lewis, Nicholas, Pleasants, Pocahontas, Roane, Webster, Wood, Wirt, and Upshur Counties are eligible to participate in the “Home Grown” program. However, other scholarships are available for students hailing from other West Virginia counties.

For more information about GSC’s “Home Grown” initiative or to enroll, contact the Office of Admissions at admissions@glenville.edu or by calling (800) 924-2010.