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CERRA and Study.com Partner to Address South Carolina Teacher Shortage
(Through the partnership, Study.com will donate $360,000 in test prep scholarships to state)
The Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, & Advancement (CERRA) is partnering with Study.com, a national edtech platform, to launch Keys to the Classroom in South Carolina, an education initiative aimed at unlocking opportunities for aspiring educators who are preparing for certification tests to earn their teaching credential.
Through this partnership, Study.com will donate $360,000 (equating to 500 licenses) in comprehensive, cost-free materials and resources to aspiring South Carolina teachers to help them prepare and pass their teacher certification tests. The 500 teacher test prep licenses will be distributed to Teacher Cadets as well as targeted populations that, historically, face
obstacles passing the PRAXIS exam.
“Made possible by Study.com’s commitment to social impact and its philanthropic efforts via their Pledge 1%, Keys to the Classroom aims to ensure prospective educators of all backgrounds and ethnicities can access the teaching profession,” said Marcella Wine-Snyder of CERRA. “This first-of-its-kind partnership with Study.com will also allow CERRA the opportunity to continue to advance its recruitment efforts across our state, provide opportunities and access that mitigate educational disparities, and accelerate the certification process for many prospective teachers.”
CERRA has identified a critical gap between teachers leaving education and the high demand for new teachers, thus causing a significant teacher shortage in the state. According to CERRA’s 2021 Annual Educator Supply and Demand Report, districts indicated that at the start of the 21-22 school year, at least 1,063 teaching/service positions were still vacant in SC public schools, up 52% compared to the previous school year and the most ever recorded vacancies.
One barrier for aspiring teachers is passing their teacher certification tests, such as the PRAXIS. In fact, according to a 2019 report from the National Council on Teacher Quality, half of teachers fail their first certification exam and a quarter never pass, as compared to 92% of teachers who used Study.com’s test prep resources and reported passing their test on the first try.
Keys to the Classroom will provide resources to reduce the teacher shortage by nearly 50%, while emphasizing a strong commitment to diversifying the teacher pipeline in South Carolina. According to a report published in 2020 from the South Carolina Center for Excellence in Teacher Education Research, the percentage of teachers of color in South Carolina is not representative of the student population, and there is an immediate need to focus on diversity recruitment. Study.com and CERRA will aim to address both of these issues through partnering with statewide education organizations committed to diversifying the teacher pipeline.
“Representation in the classroom is critical, as studies show that students are more likely to succeed when they have teachers who look like them,” says Study.com’s VP of Social Impact Dana Bryson. “Our goal with bringing Keys to the Classroom to South Carolina is to diversify the teacher pipeline and help reduce the teacher shortage by removing some of the barriers to becoming a teacher.”
Study.com launched its first Keys to the Classroom initiative last winter in Nevada, suffering a teacher shortage of about 3,000. Since then, Study.com has donated 600 teacher test prep licenses in Nevada and has partnered with numerous educational organizations to support aspiring teachers and improve educational outcomes.
CERRA’s teacher pipeline development network targets South Carolina’s pre-collegiate (ProTeam and Teacher Cadet) and pre-service (Teaching Fellows) students. At the onset of the program, Study.com and CERRA will focus on Teacher Cadets and prioritized populations and will work with the following organizations and institutions to distribute the test prep licenses: South Carolina Department of Education; South Carolina Teacher Loan Program; HBCUs, MSIs, and other teacher preparation institutions across the state; local school districts; and education associations.
The Keys to the Classroom initiative is part of Study.com’s commitment to Pledge 1%, a corporate philanthropy movement dedicated to making the community a key stakeholder in every business. Pledge 1% continues the company's commitment to making education accessible through social impact programs focused on increasing access and equity in education for underserved learners, non-traditional students, and educators.
For more information on Study.com’s Keys to the Classroom scholarship, please visit https://study.com/blog/study-com-s-keys-to-the-classroom.html.