Wilkes-Barre, Pa., February 17, 2023—King’s College was awarded a $100,000 “Innovative Teacher Prep2Practice Program” planning grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) for the College’s innovative Pipeline for Educational Articulation of Clinical Experience (PEACE) Program.

Designed to recruit new diverse talent into the teaching profession, the goals of the College’s PEACE Program are to strengthen local educational partnerships; recruit students from partner high schools to participate in a dual credit educational experience model with international connections; and strengthen professional knowledge, laying the foundation for the creation of a teacher pipeline and addressing both the shortage and lack of diversity in the teacher workforce in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

As part of this initiative, education courses and experiences will be offered free of charge to 30 juniors and seniors in Wilkes-Barre Area High School and Hazleton Area High School. Students interested in pursuing education as a major are invited to apply. All fees and textbooks will be paid for with grant funds. Interested students should speak with their guidance counselor.

Additionally, the King's College Education Department faculty and principal investigators of the grant—Dr. Denise Reboli, Dr. Jill Yurko, and the Associate Dean of Education, Dr. Dara Soljaga—will convene representatives from the partner districts and Luzerne County Community College for a consortium that will work to articulate the three phases of clinical experience for teachers, as well as creating a Culturally Responsive and Sustaining Education (CR-SE) competencies handbook to be used by all.

“With our local, state, and national teacher shortage, there has never been a better time to be a teacher,” said Dr. Soljaga. “This program builds diversity in our workforce by engaging our local students in the early educational experience model for dual credit that can be applied toward an undergraduate degree and teacher certification. The hope is that these students will complete a teacher certification program with the promise of returning to their school or district to enrich our teaching corps upon college graduation.”

Students interested in majoring in education or participating in this program can apply at kings.edu/apply or email admissions@kings.edu.