Clayton County Schools working with Mercer University on teacher diversity

Clayton County is one of five Georgia communities working with Mercer University’s Tift College of Education to grow and diversify the teacher workforce.

Mercer has received a three-year, $9.6 million U.S. Department of Education grant for the project, which has been dubbed -- Georgia Educators Networking to Revolutionize and Transform Education or “Generate.” Mercers says it is the largest federal grant in the history of the university’s College of Education.

“Education is the cornerstone on which to build hope and a future for the next generations,” Tift College of Education Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Strategic Engagement Loleta Sartin. “Writing this grant was a labor of love with the primary goal of expanding and strengthening our support of Georgia schools by preparing more qualified, innovative educators.

“Generate” will develop a residency program for people changing careers to obtain a master’s of arts in teaching degree, become certified teachers in Georgia and teach in high-need content areas within partner school districts, Mercer said. In addition to Clayton, other partner schools include Dublin City Schools and districts for Bibb, Pike and Twiggs counties.

Clayton County Schools Superintendent Morcease Beasley said the district is happy to participate in “Generate.”

“Nationally, education has experienced a shortage of individuals aspiring to become classroom teachers, and I believe this project is a much-needed step in the right direction to strengthen and diversify the talent pool,” he said. “Our school system is proud to support this endeavor.”