The Mississippi State Meridian - Meridian Branch received a grant in the amount of $198,000 from the Kelogg Foundation to offer a teacher assistant program to help solve the teacher shortage in the state and specifically, Jackson, Mississippi.
“This initiative is where we’re helping local teacher assistance, so this grant is allowing us to expand that work to the Jackson area,” said Dr. Jeffrey Leffler, assistant professor.
Strong candidates are handpicked by The Mississippi Department of Education. “They are identifying the individual that will participate and so that whole process is an application with them if an individual is interested in it the first group of individuals has already been selected, so those 12 people will begin this fall semester,” said Dr. Jeffrey Leffler, assistant professor. Now one unique cool feature about this program is it allows students to be able to learn in the classroom and also when they’re away.
“They can login our courses and take them, or they have the option if something is offered as a time slot that doesn't work for them because some of them do work two jobs. They have the option to treat it as an online class and go back and watch the online lectures and ask if the professor questions via email, “said Brandi Sumrall. The course will take two years and students will have received the proper training before completing the program. “They’re going to have the entire elementary courses that are required methods and materials, they’ll also have method and materials for special education and they’re a few selected courses for special education that they’re required to take,” said Sumrall.