Florence 1 Schools joins ‘grow your own’ program to help fill teacher vacancies

Published: Aug. 2, 2023 at 9:13 PM EDT
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FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) - A new program through Clemson’s College of Education will use a grant to provide 36 people with master’s degrees across the state.

This new program aims to help fill teacher vacancies and also offers opportunities to those who want to change careers. It is part of South Carolina’s “Grow Your Own” (SCGYO) program that partners with school districts to increase the teacher workforce.

Executive Director of Marketing and Talent for Florence 1 Schools, Ashley Watson said the number of people going into education continues to drop. It’s forced schools to recruit people from other industries to become teachers.

“Grow your own is designed for career changers. People that traditionally did not want to go into the education field, but maybe want to do a career change, and not have the financial responsibly of a masters degree”, said Watson

In order to be eligible to apply, you have to have a science, math, or English bachelor’s degree.

Six people will be selected for the program by Florence 1 Schools.

Francis Marion University Senior, Adrien McClintock graduates in just one week. He has had to work several jobs to pay for his bachelor’s degree. McClintock has thought about being a teacher and said programs like SCGYO are a package deal.

“Free master’s degree to help out with your financials and you get to teach, that’s awesome,” said McClintock.

Watson said candidates have a 3-year commitment to Florence 1 school, which will help the district retain quality teachers for years to come.

“So that way, we’ll retain them for three years, and hopefully beyond”, said Watson.

Applications are now open for the SCGYO program, you can click here to see if you qualify. Candidates will start in Fall 2024.