Trenton, NJ – The New Jersey Department of Education today announced that Rowan University is the recipient of a four-year Troops to Teachers grant to recruit military veterans and service men and women to the teaching profession.
Through the nearly $400,000 Pathway to Certification grant, Rowan University will establish a program called “Project MOTIVATE” (Mobilizing and Training Inspirational Veterans to Achieve in Teacher Education), which will recruit military veterans into the teaching profession, support them through the completion of the teacher-preparation program, and assist them with potential job placements.
The Troops to Teachers grant also required the successful applicant to establish professional partnerships with at least one high-needs school/district. Rowan will partner with the Camden City School District to give military veteran teachers-in-training the practical school-embedded experience they need – which can open the door for possible full-time employment after they become certificated as a New Jersey teacher.
“Students stand to benefit greatly from the wealth of experience that military veterans can bring to the classroom,” said Education Commissioner Lamont O. Repollet. “This program will introduce students to teachers with diverse backgrounds and experiences. In turn, military veterans will be introduced to a rewarding career in education.”
“This is huge for our veterans, and it’s a win-win for so many stakeholders,” said Brigadier General Jemal J. Beale, the Adjutant General of New Jersey. “This program will support veterans as they transition from serving our country to pursuing their educational and career goals. The education community will gain well-rounded, loyal individuals who have experienced leadership skills to mentor and motivate others to a common goal.”
“Rowan has a long, proud history of helping active duty students and veterans achieve the right balance in order to excel throughout their academic careers,” said Ali A. Houshmand, president, Rowan University. “Our nationally accredited education program and our history of preparing future educators will ensure that Project Motivate will be a success from the beginning.”
The university will focus on encouraging veterans’ interest in teaching, particularly in the in-demand STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math, as well as special education and English as a second language/bilingual education.
Veterans will also have support through efforts such as a “Battle Buddy” mentorship program that will connect them with other veterans on campus and in the community, including Rowan military veteran faculty and peer mentors.
Troops to Teachers has introduced more than 20,000 veterans nationally to careers in public schools since Congress created the program in 1993. States use the federal funding to design strategies that help veterans transition to the teaching profession. Since the program’s creation, New Jersey’s Troops to Teachers office has counseled approximately 1,800 veterans toward a career in education.