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November 7, 2023

Saginaw Public Schools applies $2 million state grant to partner with SVSU to 'grow your own' certified teachers

Woman pointing while two men and another woman look on

Saginaw Valley State University and Saginaw Public Schools are collaborating to increase the number of certified teachers in local classrooms, thanks to a $2 million grant from the State of Michigan.

SVSU worked with Saginaw Public Schools to adapt the university’s Accelerated Certification with Residency program to meet the unique needs of the urban school district. Through a combination of academic coursework and classroom teaching experience, Saginaw Public Schools employees who have completed bachelor’s degrees can complete the requirements to become a certified teacher in about a year.

“This partnership is a great example of our commitment to the community we serve,” said George Grant Jr, SVSU president. “The students in this program are committed to staying and serving in the school district where they were already working, which enhances the education local students receive.”

SVSU worked to create a special cohort of students that includes an emphasis on the unique circumstances of urban education.

“The partnership with SVSU will assist our district for years to come, in placing highly qualified teachers in front of our students,” said Ramont Roberts, superintendent of Saginaw Public Schools. “We are grateful for the work of Representative O’Neal and Senator McDonald Rivet in making sure that we have the necessary resources to fund the program. This is a shining example of true collaboration, and I am honored to be a part of it.”

Through the State of Michigan’s “Grow Your Own Teacher” funding initiative, the Saginaw Public Schools employees who enroll at SVSU will see all education expenses covered by the grant.

“Schools and students need good teachers now more than ever. ‘Grow Your Own’ is a smart, practical response to our teacher shortage,” said State Senator Kristen McDonald Rivet. “The $2 million we secured for this partnership will go a long way to help Saginaw Public Schools fill vital classroom positions.”

SVSU teaches some courses in Saginaw Public Schools buildings for added convenience, recognizing the time demands of busy working professionals.

“The ‘Grow Your Own’ program provides excellent experience and grand opportunities,” said State Representative Amos O’Neal. “SVSU’s partnership with Saginaw Public Schools is such a blessing to our school district, our students and our community. If you are thinking about getting certified as a teacher, I encourage you to apply. This $2 million investment will help cover costs for those who seek to earn their teacher certification — there is no better time than right now.”

Saginaw Public Schools hosted a news conference Monday, Nov. 6 at the newly constructed Handley Elementary School to showcase the partnership with SVSU.