AmeriCorps Awards Wheelock With a $140,000 Grant to Expand Their Educator Mentor Corps

September 28, 2011

Boston Innovation

Today, Wheelock College announced they've received a $140,000 AmeriCorps grant that will enable the school to further develop the Educator Mentor Corps (EMC), a program designed to improve teacher retention by connecting urban school teachers to skilled retired educator mentors.

The program, being piloted by Wheelock, is centered on Greater Boston-based teacher mentorship. The funding will allow the College to recruit and train nearly 40 retired teachers to act as mentors and serve as many as 50 K-12 teachers per year in Boston and Chelsea. In collaboration with the Boston Public Schools, Chelsea Public Schools, ReadBoston, WriteBoston, and the Mass Service Alliance, mentors will be placed in various schools to help keep new teachers in those schools.

The trend in urban schools has been that nearly half of the new teachers leave the classroom within their first three years, according to a press release from Wheelock College. In addition, approximately 19,000 veteran teachers are projected to retire in Massachusetts over the next nine to 10 years.

The trends present a problem: the loss of veteran teachers paired with a high turnover of new teachers diminishes the number of competent educators, and thus the teaching quality in schools.

Wheelock's EMC program aims to address that problem by offering support to new teachers via experienced teachers.

Over the past two years, Wheelock, in conjunction with the Boston Public Schools, has successfully recruited and placed 14 retired educators to mentor 16 beginning teachers. The funding from AmeriCorps will support the program for one full year and can then be extended up to three years.

Through the grant, Boston can continue to offer nothing but the best education to its students and create a positive future for the youth of the city.

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