New Teacher Apprenticeship Program announced

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 18, 2023

State aims to address issue of educator shortage

COLUMBUS — Gov. Mike DeWine announced Friday Ohio’s new Teacher Apprenticeship Program, designed to help Ohio address the educator shortage while providing an additional career pathway for those wanting to become teachers.

The Ohio Department of Higher Education, Ohio Department of Education and Ohio Department of Job and Family Services partnered to develop the program standards and add the occupation of K-12 teacher to the registered apprenticeships in Ohio. Ohio’s Teacher Apprenticeship model is designed to strengthen partnerships between K-12 schools, their communities, and the educator preparation programs in Ohio’s institutions of higher education by incorporating leading practices in educator preparation with the rigors of a registered apprenticeship program.

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“This is an innovative way to help those already working in schools, such as teachers’ aids, library specialists, or bus drivers, obtain their teaching license,” said Governor DeWine. “School districts are able to identify potential future teachers who are already a part of their communities and provide them the support and guidance they need to succeed.”

“Teachers all across Ohio are currently instructing students at the more than 120 pre-apprenticeship programs, but ironically, until now, teaching has been a non-apprenticable occupation,” said Lt. Governor Jon Husted. “At a time where we are facing a critical need to fill these positions, preparing teachers through the apprenticeship model will help deliver additional qualified teachers for the classroom.”

Serving as the program sponsor, ODHE will collaborate with ODE and ODJFS to provide support to Ohio’s K-12 school districts and institutions of higher education as they develop apprenticeships that:

Provide flexibility to allow for students starting at different levels of experience and schooling to be successful.

Provide credit for prior experience to count for both related instruction and on-the-job training requirements.

Provide wage increases as skills and experience are attained.

Pair candidates with teachers who will model best practices while giving teachers an opportunity to take on a mentorship role while remaining in the classroom.

“This program is meant to replicate other successful programs where dedicated staff such as paraprofessionals, custodians, and bus drivers are recruited by their school districts to complete an apprenticeship and become a teacher,” said ODHE Chancellor Randy Gardner. “And it is another example of working together to give those interested in becoming a teacher one more way to do so.”

“The Teacher Apprenticeship Program provides a remarkable opportunity for districts and schools to grow their supply of quality teachers to support student success,” said Dr. Chris Woolard, interim superintendent of public instruction. “It is just one initiative being implemented to increase the supply of qualified educators in Ohio.”

In addition, candidates participating in the teacher apprenticeship program will be eligible to apply for the newly announced Grow Your Own Teacher scholarships, which provides up to $7,500 per year for four years in exchange for committing to teach in a qualifying Ohio school for at least four years.

For more information on the Teacher Apprenticeship Program, visit