Missouri Education Dept. distributes grants to bolster teaching degrees amid shortage

Grants of $70K, $45K given to universities, colleges in high-need areas
New Missouri grant program to train more teachers in state.
Published: Oct. 23, 2023 at 5:32 PM CDT
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KFVS) - The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education awarded the first round of grants from a new program aimed at motivating more young people to pursue careers in teaching.

The inaugural “Grow Your Own” grants were handed out to 15 four-year institutions and five two-year institutions to fund their educator preparation programs, or EPPs.

The grants are referred to as the DEWEY awards, which stands for Developing an Educator Workforce that Expands Yearly.

The main criteria for which institutions were selected for the grant, aside from the plausibility of the program’s success, was their location.

The guidelines said prioritized institutions will be in “a geographic area of Missouri in which local school districts are typically under-resourced or groups whose representation in the Missouri teacher corps is significantly disproportionate relative to the school age population in the state.”

4-Year institutionsAwarded $70,000

  • Central Methodist University
  • Columbia College
  • Cottey College
  • Culver-Stockton College
  • Drury University
  • Lindenwood University
  • Missouri State University
  • Missouri University of Science and Technology
  • Missouri Western State University
  • Northwest Missouri State University
  • Saint Louis University
  • University of Central Missouri
  • University of Missouri—Columbia
  • University of Missouri—St. Louis
  • Westminster College

2-Year Institutions – Awarded $45,000

  • East Central College
  • Mineral Area Community College
  • Missouri State University—West Plains
  • North Central Missouri College
  • Ozarks Technical Community College

According to a report from December 2022, the DESE said just over 5% of it’s teaching workforce is not qualified or underqualified for their position, the equivalent of 3,579 full-time employees.

The subjects experiencing the highest demand, based on that December 2022 report, include elementary education, cross categorical positions, and early childhood special education.

The DESE reports that 13,314 courses in Missouri schools are taught by someone with “inappropriate certification,” in the 2023-2024 school year. That’s down significantly from the previous year, in which 45,509 courses were listed as having inappropriate certification.

Highest Demand Subjects in Missouri (from most severe to least):

  1. Elementary Education 1-6
  2. Mild/Moderate Cross Categorical K-12
  3. Early Childhood Special Education B-3
  4. Early Childhood Education B-3
  5. Social Science 5-9
  6. Physics 9-12
  7. Mathematics 5-9
  8. Severe Development Disabled B-12
  9. Biology 9-12
  10. General Science 5-9
  11. Language Arts 5-9
  12. Mathematics 9-12
  13. Business Education 9-12
  14. Earth Science 9-12
  15. Chemistry 9-12