Kansas State University’s College of Education, in partnership with the Kansas State Department of Education, was recently awarded a $400,000, four-year Troops to Teachers grant to support transitioning service members and veterans interested in becoming teachers.
Troops to Teachers-Kansas is open to veterans and transitioning service members worldwide who wish to return to Kansas to begin their teaching careers. The program offers two distinct online pathways with unique features. The Master of Arts in teaching is a one-year program for degree holders, and the bachelor’s degree takes 24 months after completing prerequisite courses. Unique to Kansas State University’s Troops to Teachers-Kansas are veteran teaching assistants who will support participants from enrollment to graduation. The veteran teaching assistants are both experienced teachers and veterans who have completed the Troops to Teachers program and understand the special opportunities and challenges of transitioning to the classroom.
“K-State is at the forefront of developing innovative programming for educators, and by tailoring the highly successful Master of Arts in teaching for service members, we can directly address teacher supply throughout Kansas, the Midwest and the country,” said Richard B. Myers, Kansas State University president. “Our programs provide a trusted and credentialed path to the classroom, and I believe K-State, with its many military connections and online options, is in the enviable position of being the university of choice for transitioning service members and veterans who want to become teachers.”
Thomas Vontz, professor and co-author of the Troops to Teachers-Kansas grant, said the program includes a job placement mentorship, various resources and an online virtual job fair that will connect graduates with underserved school districts in Kansas.
“More than 250 students have enrolled in the Master of Arts in teaching program since its inception in 2016,” Vontz said. “Given K-State’s longstanding commitment to military-connected education, providing transitioning service members and veterans affordable, convenient, practical pathways to teaching just made good sense. We believe this grant will not only assist veterans but also provide high-quality teachers to Kansas schools.”
Learn more about Troops to Teachers-Kansas at global.k-state.edu/troops-to-teachers/.
Kansas State University has been recognized nationally by the White House’s Joining Forces initiative, the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Association of Defense Communities as one of the nation’s premier military-inclusive public research universities. Additionally, it has been recognized as both a Carnegie Engaged University and the Association of Public and Land-Grant University Innovation and Economic Prosperity Designated Awardee for its education and outreach programs for military veterans.
Troops to Teachers was established in the early 1990s to support transitioning service members and veterans to pursue careers as K-12 school teachers in public, charter, and Bureau of Indian Affairs schools. The program provides counseling and referral services for participants to help them meet education and licensing requirements to teach and subsequently helps them secure a teaching position. Since 1993, more than 20,000 veterans have successfully transitioned to careers in education.