Last week, the School of Education hosted a New Student Orientation at the Kent School District offices for the second cohort of the Alternative Route to Teacher Certification (ARTC) Program.
The ARTC Program represents a strong partnership between Antioch University and the Kent School District. The program works to meet the needs of the district by promoting a “Grow Your Own” model in which paraprofessionals and other classified instructional staff currently working in the district have the opportunity to earn their teacher certification and an endorsement in either English Language Learners or in School Library Media–both areas of high need for the district. The program responds to the needs and schedules of KSD personnel, with classes offered on site in Kent at times that are most convenient for district professionals Moreover, the program will contribute to diversifying the teacher workforce in the district, and to building a larger pool of teachers that more closely represent the students that they are serving. A central goal of the program is to support candidates to become leaders in the district and advocates for the students and families in the Kent community.
Monday’s New Student Orientation was a wonderful kickoff for this year’s cohort. Kent School District officials and School of Education faculty and staff welcomed the group and celebrated the start of the program. The remainder of the event was designed to situate the new students within the ARTC program and to familiarize them with Antioch’s offices and systems. The evening also included wonderful opportunities for interaction and community-building. All of the participants were engaged in the activities and enthusiastic about the learning ahead. They are eager to begin the work of becoming certified WA State teachers.