Human Capital Strategies in Akron

Grow Your Own Program
Posted on 10/08/2020
Image of GYO Program Panel(Editor’s Note: Erica Glover and Stancy Sykes of Akron Public Schools contributed to this blog.)

Like many schools and districts in Ohio, Akron Public Schools (APS) faces human capital issues such as shortages and a teacher workforce that doesn’t reflect the Akron student population. The district also struggles to recruit minority teacher candidates. To address these needs, APS developed an innovative Grow Your Own (GYO) program that focuses on three key priorities:
  • Fill teaching vacancies
  • Increase its applicant pool
  • Diversify its teaching workforce 
As APS explored their options for designing a GYO program they considered some important factors. Approximately 40% of APS substitute teachers are minorities, and many have been in the district 5-8 years. Data that shows that generally, minority students are less likely to enroll in education preparation programs, compared to their white peers. According to a 2016 report from the U.S. Department of Education, 73% of students enrolled in an education-related bachelor’s degree program and 71% of students enrolled in an education-related master’s degree program were white, which is much less diverse compared to other majors[1]. This information helped APS design and implement the Alternative Resident Educator License (AREL) program to transition interested substitute teachers into full-time teaching. This locally developed GYO program will enable the district to strengthen its minority recruitment efforts, while also growing their own teachers from within their school system. Read more here >>.
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