Golden Apple Expands Scholars Program to Include Illinois Community College Students
CHICAGO (October 3, 2013) – Golden Apple, a leader in advancing the teaching profession in Illinois for 28 years, today announced the expansion of the Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois Program to include students enrolled in Illinois community colleges. Additionally, the program has expanded and for the first time will grant 175 scholarships to students interested in becoming teachers in schools of need in Illinois in 2014. Community college students in Illinois may be eligible for up to 25 of these scholarships in 2014.
The new program for Illinois community college students will be called Explore. Golden Apple created the Explore program to address the growing number of college students who begin their higher education at Illinois community colleges and are interested in becoming future teachers.
The Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois program has grown to over 1,500 statewide participants since its inception in 1989, making it the leading pre‐service teacher preparation and internship program in the nation. The Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois Program is designed to address the urgent need for resilient and creative teachers serving Illinois students in economically and educationally disadvantaged schools. The program identifies talented high school seniors, college sophomores and now community college students in Illinois who have the promise and drive to be excellent teachers in Illinois schools of need. Golden Apple Scholars gain essential exposure to the challenges and triumphs of difficult classroom settings that is unrivaled by any other teacher preparation program. Through the program, Scholars build invaluable networks of support that guide them through college and onto success throughout their teaching years.
The Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois program provides tuition assistance to program participants while they pursue an undergraduate education at one of 53 Illinois universities. Most importantly, throughout their undergraduate years Scholars participate in a comprehensive series of pre‐student‐teaching internships, mentoring and course work on the art of teaching delivered by Golden Apple Award‐winning teachers. When Scholars complete the program, they have acquired more than three times the classroom experiences garnered by traditionally prepared teachers. Golden Apple continues to support Scholars after they begin their teaching careers through mentoring and professional development opportunities. In return for the financial and professional development support that is provided by Golden Apple, all Scholars agree to teach in a school of need in Illinois for five years following graduation.
Proof of the success of the Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois Program includes:
- 82% of Golden Apple Scholars teach for 5+ years in a school of need vs. 44% of new teachers leave their initial school within two years.
- 83% of Golden Apple Scholars successfully graduate from college each year, dramatically outpacing the national average graduation rate of 58%
- More than 600,000 students in Illinois have been taught by Golden Apple Scholars
- Students of Scholars have a demonstrated record of performance improvement in subject mastery on state tests.
Nominations for the Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois Program class of 2014 are open through December 1, 2013 at http://www.goldenapple.org
About Golden Apple
Celebrating its 28th anniversary, Golden Apple began with founders Mike and Pat Koldyke and a shared inspiration — to offer outstanding teachers a level of recognition and engagement in the larger work of education reform. Golden Apple’s successful track record of integrated, innovative programs and resources enhance the quality, resiliency, and creativity of classroom teachers and improve teaching and learning throughout Illinois. Qualified, passionate educators — including Golden Apple Award-recipients and finalists — lead a small staff of dedicated employees with functional and program expertise. A connected and committed board of directors oversees Golden Apple’s strategic direction. Together with a larger community of expert educators, this nonprofit organization works to transform teachers and teaching. Visit www.goldenapple.org for more information.
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