Grace College Adds Secondary Option to its Transition to Teaching Program
After launching its Transition to Teaching Elementary program last summer, the Grace College School of Education is pleased to announce it is expanding the program to include a secondary education option in the summer of 2024. The online licensure will allow those who hold a bachelor’s degree in any subject to complete the program and obtain a secondary education teaching license over the course of 12 months.
“We are thrilled to expand the transition to teaching program to benefit middle schools and high schools as well,” said Dr. Cheryl Bremer, dean of the School of Education at Grace College. “Our first cohort of students for the Transition to Elementary Education program are now in the classroom, and we have received wonderful feedback from their administrators. We are seeing this initiative make an impact, and now we are excited for that impact to grow.”
The Transition to Teaching program will begin with a five-day residency in June to be held on Grace College’s campus in Winona Lake, Indiana. The residency will give students the opportunity to interact with other teacher candidates in their cohort, get to know the School of Education faculty and give students a foundation for success as they begin their journey towards becoming a licensed teacher.
“We are intentionally structuring this online program to have a personal and relational feel,” said Dr. Courtney Thrasher, Transition to Teaching director. “Through the in-person residency, our students will bond with their classmates and build a lasting network of caring and competent educators that will spur them on in their careers. Our goal is for our students to leave the residency feeling empowered to succeed as they work towards becoming teachers.”
According to Thrasher, 90% of Grace College’s current students in the Transition to Teaching program are immersed in school communities, either teaching in the classroom through Indiana’s Transition to Teaching permit or providing support as staff members. This immediate integration is not only a benefit to the students as they become educators but also makes a tangible difference in schools.
“This program has been a blessing,” said Cheri Sleighter, principal of Washington STEM Academy in Warsaw, Indiana. “Not only did we gain three dedicated individuals pursuing their teaching degrees at Grace College, but we now have one in the classroom, another leading our Innovation Lab and a third serving as a paraprofessional and valuable substitute teacher. It’s a win-win — students get real-world experience while enriching our school community.”
The program is intentionally designed for anyone with a bachelor’s degree, including paraprofessionals serving Grace’s local partner corporations. The program is also created for those currently working outside of the school setting. Each course has been carefully crafted to meet the needs of adult learners and the responsibilities they have in their own lives.
Ultimately, the program intends to break down barriers that adults face as they pursue the teaching profession.
“Our program will provide an innovative way for nontraditional teaching candidates to become teachers, giving them the chance to fulfill their dreams and make a lasting impact on generations to come,” said Thrasher.
To learn more, visit online.grace.edu/programs/