Edgewood College Offers Innovative Answer to Teacher Shortage

  • Thursday, Aug 10, 2023

Madison, Wis. (August 10, 2023) – Edgewood College is offering an innovative solution to the teacher shortage in Wisconsin, and school districts are listening. The College has launched an Accelerated Teacher Residency program in recent months, and to date more than twenty school districts, including many from Dane County, have signed on, with more on the way. 

The program creates a partnership with each district, that allows employees of those districts to earn credits at a reduced rate toward a Master’s Degree that also provides a Wisconsin Teaching License. This fully-online program enables working educators from anywhere in the state of Wisconsin to successfully complete this program. 

“Over the past decade Wisconsin has seen a marked increase in the number of emergency teaching licenses issued by districts to address classroom shortages,” Andrew P. Manion, President of Edgewood College, said. “This initiative extends the mission of Edgewood College in a way that both honors our identity and heritage, and leverages technology to respond to the needs of today.” Edgewood College was chartered in 1927 to equip young women to become teachers. 

“The Oregon School District knows the impact caring and professional educators have on the success of our students,” Dr. Leslie Bergstrom, Superintendent of the Oregon School District, said.  “We are proud to partner with Edgewood College and support professionals on their journey to becoming educators. We are honored to welcome new members to the education profession - there is no career more fulfilling than one that makes a difference in the lives of children.” 

In addition to district employees enjoying a reduced tuition rate as they earn their credentials as fully-licensed educators in Wisconsin, those working teachers study with support from mentors from their own districts, creating a focus that will ultimately benefit the students in each district.

“At the heart of this new program is partnership with working educators,” Dr. Michael Meissen, Senior Director of Innovations and Partnerships, said. “We have done a lot of listening – listening to superintendents, principals, experienced teachers, you name it. The results of those conversations helped us shape this new effort to address a pressing need in our state.” Dr. Meissen has served as a teacher, administrator, and superintendent in public schools in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Illinois for nearly forty years.

Dr. Tremayne Clardy, Superintendent of the Verona Area School District (VASD), agrees. 

“We see a natural fit here between our staff who are already committed to VASD and an embedded opportunity to advance their careers with their current employer,” Dr. Clardy said. “These staff members already know the district and they know our students and our families. We are so pleased that our partnership with Edgewood College will allow them a promising pathway to both meet their own goals and enrich the lives of our scholars.”

To date, these Wisconsin districts have signed on to the Accelerated Teacher Residency Program at Edgewood College: Beaver Dam Unified School District; School District of Belleville; School District of Cambridge;             Deerfield Community School District; De Forest Area School District; Edgerton School District; Diocese of Madison Catholic Schools; School District of Fort Atkinson; School District of Lodi; McFarland School District; Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District; District of Milton; Monona Grove School District; Mount Horeb Area School District; New Glarus School District; Oregon School District; Portage Community School District; Sauk Prairie School District; Stoughton Area School District; Sun Prairie Area School District; Verona Area School District; Waterloo School District; Waunakee Community School District; Wisconsin Heights School District.