The Schoolcraft Teacher Education Program (S.T.E.P.), which began in 2021, is a collaborative initiative between Schoolcraft College and the CTE TEACH Pathway Western International High School in Detroit.
Projected teacher shortages in the next few years have led to a special partnership between Schoolcraft College and one local high school to expose students to development opportunities that’s currently wrapping up its second year.
The Schoolcraft Teacher Education Program (S.T.E.P.), which began in 2021, is a collaborative initiative between Schoolcraft College and the CTE TEACH Pathway Western International High School in Detroit. Through the program, students can take college courses while still in high school, as well as providing them hands-on experience in classrooms by working with elementary students, among others.
Such a program is valuable, especially in Michigan: 71% of all schools in the start were understaffed during the 2021-2022 school year, a stat that’s not expected to reverse anytime soon: teacher shortages over the next five years will be a “disabling factor” in making sure students meet standards and benchmarks.
Working with College and Beyond instructor Professor Janice Tomlinson and Ryan Masters, a teacher at both Schoolcraft College and Western International High School, students have spent plenty of time learning about what’s needed and what type of options they have when they prepare to graduate high school. That includes earning college credit, visiting the college’s campus multiple times a year, engaging in Career and Project Based Learning and volunteering.
“We are grateful to the teachers, Ryan Masters and Janice Tomlinson, and Robert Santavicca, assistant principal at Western International High School of the Detroit Public School systems, for providing us with an opportunity to share in the transformational impact of TEACH on the lives of students,” said Melissa Schultz, Chief Student Enrollment Officer at Schoolcraft College. “Enhancing the TEACH Career and Technical Education curriculum with college coursework and campus visits is a creative way to prepare students for the workforce while also opening doors for higher education. The S.T.E.P. and TEACH programs are a bridge to endless possibilities for students seeking personal and professional growth.”
Several students recently traveled to Schoolcraft College and presented their e-portfolio capstone project to their classmates and college officials. One of those students, Paris Kaled, said the program has helped him simplify the rest of his high school career, as well as given him the opportunity to work with organizations such as Soar Detroit, a tutoring program that works with students in the city.
“Soar is a good opportunity for myself and for a lot of other people to try out a job, because you are getting direct tutoring experience,” he said. “I have now had a student in two months go from a high school dropout who hasn’t touched any books in 10 years to passing the GED. It clearly worked.”
Santavicca said he’s enjoyed having the relationship with Schoolcraft College and the opportunities it provides the high school’s students. “It’s been heartwarming,” he said. “They’ve been really, really good to work with.”