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BloomBoard and Drew University Partner to Redefine Educator Advancement Pathways in New Jersey

Drew University will offer on-the-job bachelor’s degree in elementary education to address teacher shortage in New Jersey

May 2024 – Drew University and BloomBoard, a leading talent development provider for K-12 school districts, are announcing an innovative new partnership to help New Jersey school districts sustainably address their talent needs. Together, they’ll support New Jersey school districts in providing an on-the-job Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education program for aspiring teachers. The program removes traditional barriers to earning a bachelor’s degree that hinder the growth of a diverse and talent-rich candidate pool.

The teacher shortage in New Jersey continues to be a challenge for school district leaders. According to a survey by the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association, at the beginning of the 2023-24 school year, only 16.3% of members had fully staffed classrooms. Moreover, the state’s teacher workforce is increasingly less diverse than the student population it serves. The innovative new bachelor’s degree program offered by Drew University aims to remedy opportunity gaps by affording aspiring elementary teachers time and flexibility in completing coursework while working in the classroom.

“Drew’s new collaboration with BloomBoard aligns with our values and commitment to providing innovative and accessible education opportunities,” said Dr. Hilary Link, President of Drew University. “By offering an on-the-job Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education program, we are strengthening our commitment to advancing educational equity and building the teacher pipeline in New Jersey.” 

Candidates who have an associate degree and are currently working in a school can enroll in the 64 credit program as part of a cohort sponsored by a school district. Candidates earning this bachelor’s degree and passing all required certification assessments are eligible for a CEAS license to teach grades K-6 in New Jersey public schools. 

BloomBoard will support New Jersey school districts in implementing Drew University’s program through a residency-like model. The company will aid districts in identifying funding sources and building program support systems for successful delivery and student success.

“Our partnership with Drew University is a significant step in our mission to revolutionize educator preparation and advancement pathways,” said Sanford Kenyon, CEO of BloomBoard. “Together, we’ll provide a high quality, affordable education for aspiring teachers while supporting participating New Jersey school districts to become employers of choice.”

“Drew’s education programs are designed to be clinically rich, giving teaching candidates the opportunity to learn how to teach through hands-on experience,” said Dr. Kristen Turner, Professor and Director of Teacher Education. “The partnership with BloomBoard expands what we currently do by meeting para-professionals where they are – in the classroom – and valuing the work they do daily with elementary students as part of their academic training. We are excited to help quality educators achieve their state certification.”

School districts interested in participating in this program in the fall or beyond can learn more by contacting Lauren Patterson of BloomBoard (lauren.patterson@bloomboard.com).  Click here for more information

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