Ball State University will play a major role in a
first-of-its-kind program in the nation centered on special education after the
recent federal approval of a state registered apprenticeship supporting the
Students participating in the program—which is first
launching at Noblesville High School and will be available to scale at other
Indiana schools—will allow students to graduate a year early having earned a bachelor’s
degree in Elementary Education with a
concentration in Special Education from the University.
“I am grateful our University will provide this unique
opportunity for high school students in our state,” Ball State President Geoffrey S. Mearns said.
“Educating the next generation of teachers is the foundation upon which Ball
State University was built, and it is an ongoing priority for our University.
This pathway extends our reach while preparing high school students with a
tangible, high-quality experience.”
This program, which uses the popular Grow Your Own model,
received approval from the U.S. Department of Labor (U.S. DOL) earlier this
month. To participate, students can enroll in the five-year apprenticeship
program beginning their junior year of high school. Participating apprentices
will receive instruction from Ball State during their time in high school
through dual enrollment courses, which are easily transferable and align with
the Next Level Programs of Study.
Students participating in Indiana’s first registered
apprenticeship program will also earn multiple education-related certifications,
as well as work at local after-school programs such as the Boys & Girls
Club, where they will earn tangible, hands-on experience.
“This tremendous and first-ever education apprenticeship
initiative for Indiana will develop an educator pipeline for today and
tomorrow," said Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Chris Lowery.
"It's a clear win for future educators to begin their apprenticeship in
high school, gain hands-on experience in the classroom and earn a bachelor's
degree at the conclusion of the five-year apprenticeship.”
Through this new educator-based registered apprenticeship
program, Indiana’s high school students will have the opportunity to connect
with industry partners and meet workforce demands while building a pipeline
that will grow and sustain the state’s educator pipeline in today’s competitive
“The apprenticeship program will include a strong
mentoring component at Ball State and in the workplace, which will increase
graduation rates, and longevity in the teaching field,” said Dr.
Susan Tancock, associate dean
at Teachers College and co-developer of the program.
This new registered apprenticeship is powered through a
partnership with Ball State University, Noblesville Community Schools, the Boys
& Girls Club of Noblesville, the Pursuit Institute of Hamilton County
(formerly known as the Hamilton County Center for Career Achievement), and the
Region 5 Workforce Board.
“This program is a true representation of innovation and
collaboration across multiple partnerships,” said Carrie Lively, Executive
Director of The Pursuit Institute. “The opportunities afforded to students and
families through this registered apprenticeship program are unlike any other
across the country. I am proud that The Pursuit Institute was the visionary
leader in the development of this transformative program, and we anticipate
enrollment in the apprenticeship program to scale rapidly.”
Registered apprenticeship programs in Indiana are
overseen by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) through
the Office of Work Based Learning and
Apprenticeships (OWBLA), which has been a key partner in shaping
Indiana’s, first registered apprenticeship supporting the educator
“Having an office like OWBLA working within the
Department of Workforce Development that is dedicated to work-based learning
and focused on improving the quality and quantity of education and training
programs like this U.S. DOL Teacher Apprenticeship continues to benefit all
Hoosier students, businesses and communities throughout Indiana,” said
Josh Richardson, Interim Commissioner of DWD.
Nationally, apprenticeships have grown by 64 percent since
2012, with two million more apprentices taking place over that same time.