Unique program pays those with science, tech or math degrees to become teachers

Dearborn Public Schools is again recruiting people interested in a unique partnership that will pay young graduates or mid-career professionals with science, technology, engineering or math degrees (STEM) to go back to school to become teachers.

In return, those who go through the program have to agree to teach for three years in Dearborn Public Schools or Detroit Public Schools Community District.

The Wayne State Metro Detroit Teaching Residency for Urban Excellence (TRUE) Project is looking for those who already have a bachelor’s degree in science, technology, engineering, math or computer science. The program will help participants get a master’s degree in education and their teaching certification in 18 months.  During that time, participants will receive a $40,000 living stipend and participate in a one-year residency in one of the two districts. Class costs are paid by the participant, minus any financial aid they receive.  Participants will also receive mentoring throughout the program and for two years after graduating. 

Through the program, participants will become eligible to teach high school or middle school classes in their field.

The TRUE program launched two years ago.  The district and Wayne State are now recruiting for the next class of participants. Online information sessions are scheduled for  Jan. 26 and Feb. 9 from 5 to 6 p.m.  See the program’s website at go.wayne.edu/trueproject for more information.  Those interested in attending need to register online.

“Even before the pandemic, Dearborn Public Schools like others around the state and country struggled to fill STEM related teaching positions such as science, math and computer science,” said Superintendent Dr. Glenn Maleyko.

A severe shortage of teachers is even more pronounced for science, math and technology teachers.  The Metro Detroit TRUE Project will help Dearborn meet its goal of improving quality instruction for students, Maleyko said.  The District already worked with Wayne State’s Teacher Preparation Intern Model before launching TRUE.

The next class of TRUE participants will start classes in May, but the new teachers could start teaching in the fall of 2023 while they finish their coursework.

The program is part of a federal Department of Education grant to recruit more qualified science, math and technology teachers.  Wayne RESA and several others are also partners in the initiative.

“Even before the pandemic intensified the teacher shortage, Dearborn Public Schools was exploring ways to grow our own teachers,” Dr. Maleyko said. “This program is a great way for qualified individuals to move into teaching, providing a quick, clear timeline and financial assistance to make the switch.  Hopefully, we will get some great applicants interested in joining our staff.”