Merski, Harkins: $75,000 grant to local university for teacher training

Planning grant to Gannon University will help it develop residency programs

ERIE, Aug. 6 – A $75,000 state grant will help Gannon University develop cutting-edge residency programs that will provide advanced training to teachers, state Reps. Bob Merski and Pat Harkins, both D-Erie, announced today.  

The funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Education is one of 11 grants awarded to universities statewide to support teacher and principal residency programs. The goal is to bolster and diversify the state’s educator workforce to better serve high-need areas.

“Teacher training is a dynamic area, and like many other professionals, teachers in training benefit greatly from real-world experience,” Merski said. “My own training as a teacher began with the hands-on cadet teacher program, which builds in-classroom experiences from day one alongside teacher education courses.”

Harkins added, “Historically, so many of our communities have faced problems attracting and retaining good teachers. The funding announced today will allow Gannon University to develop the best possible clinical residency programs to turn out educators who are well-equipped to serve in our most high-need areas.”  

Clinical residency programs must be developed in partnership with at least one high-need local education agency that serves high rates of historically underserved students or demonstrates chronic, multiple teacher shortages in key certification areas, including special education and English as a second language.

The grants represent the second year of funding for year-long educator residency initiatives.