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People Looking to Teach Young Children Can FAST Track Through Emporia State

Future elementary teachers can get on the fast track to finish their teaching degrees and get in the classroom sooner, thanks to a Kansas Board of Regents grant to Emporia State University.

Up to 10 students can receive scholarships in the program for summer 2021 and 30 in spring 2022. A main requirement for students is a commitment to do their student teaching in a school district without enough teachers and/or resources for the population they serve.

“The Fellowship for Acceleration to Student Teaching (FAST) is a new, accelerated option for elementary education majors who transfer from a community college to Emporia State,” said Dr. Tiffany Hill, FAST co-director. “There are two goals of this project: to decrease the time it takes our students to become elementary teachers, and to serve school districts who are in need of good student teachers.”

Students enrolled in the FAST program will complete coursework with Johnson County Community College or Butler Community College and transfer to Emporia State with a schedule designed to graduate a semester early.

"A handful of students — future teachers — every year take classes part-time or take a semester off due to the cost," said Todd Roberts, FAST co-director. "This grant allows them to attend full-time while achieving their goal of having their own classroom in less time."

“This is a combined effort by our elementary education faculty, Butler Community College, Johnson County Community College, Kansas City Kansas Public Schools and Wichita Public Schools to help get elementary education majors through the program a bit faster and into the classroom, as well as help reduce the financial barrier many face,” said Joan Brewer, dean of The Teachers College at ESU.

Through the grant, students will receive $2,000. The grant begins immediately and will run through June 30, 2022. The goal of the program is to accelerate graduation for 40 people over the next two years.

The grant awarded is for $149,984, with $87,000 (58%) provided by funding by KBOR and the remaining $62,984 (42%) provided by ESU.

Individuals interested in applying should contact Todd Roberts at