Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 3.25.26 PMChad Schatz, director of Veterans Education and Training/Troops to Teachers, Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

 

How does the Troops to Teachers program work?

The Troops to Teachers program is designed to help former active duty soldiers and members of the National Guard and Reserves transition to high-need public school teachers, with a potential bonus or stipend to help with certification courses only and expenses associated with the transition.

Regional Troops to Teachers offices work with school districts to promote the program, provide counseling and help candidates with certification issues in their state. The program was established in 1994.

 

How do you identify veterans who might want to become a teacher?

Methodology for identifying veterans who might want to become teachers includes informational briefings at military bases and following up on inquiries from soldiers by phone and email.

 

What resources are available to succeed with the Troops to Teachers’ mission?

Resources that are used to make the program successful include a contractual agreement with the State of Missouri’s Workforce Development Veterans Representatives that includes training for Missouri Vet Reps performed by Central States Troops to Teachers staff members, giving coverage to the entire state.

DVDs, television, radio and regional publications are utilized, and institutions granting teacher certification are provided with program information that they can use for recruiting purposes.

Interacting with the Veterans Administration is also a key component. The larger functions and financing for our office comes from the VA for approvals and compliance of schools, colleges and on the-job training programs; therefore the combination of TTT and VA programs is a good fit.

Financial assistance, pending availability of funds, may be provided as stipends up to $5,000 to pay for certification costs or bonuses of $10,000 to teach in schools serving a high percentage of students from low-income families. Participants accepting stipend or bonus money must agree to teach for three years in schools that serve students from low-income families in accordance with authorizing legislation.

 

How is the program financed?

Troops to Teachers is a U.S. Department of Education and Department of Defense program managed by the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support in Pensacola, Florida. Funding is established by the U.S. Department of Education.

 

How widely does the program operate? And what is your specific area of service?

Troops to Teachers is a national program. The Central States Troops to Teachers program includes Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas, with the main office in Jefferson City.

 

How many veterans have been placed as teachers with the programs?

In the past year, we have placed almost 50 teachers in Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas. Nationally, more than 17,000 veterans have been placed in public school classrooms. Approximately 263 Missouri Troops to Teacher participants have taught at least five years or more, and 1,246 have registered for the program since its inception.

 

Why teachers? Are their other opportunities within the program?

The program currently serves only teachers by legislation.

 

What military skills are translatable into a career as a teacher?

In that the military trains its own, teaching methodology is top notch and detail oriented. The teaching strategies and technology in the military make for an efficient transition for public school teaching.

Jobs in the military include a wide variety of specialties, and many translate well to public school teaching.

 

What is the process for a veteran wishing to become a teacher through your program? From where do they receive their certification?

The first step in entering the Troops to Teachers program is to register. To do so, call 1-877-530-2765, or email Chad.Schatz@dese.mo.gov.

Those seeking to teach in Missouri who have certification questions may contact Debbie Butcher at 573-751-7863 or email Debbie.Butcher@dese.mo.gov.

 

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