North Country Teacher Certification Program Gets Financial Boost

April 14th, 2010 by Adam

PLYMOUTH, N.H.-
Thanks to a generous $75,000 grant, aspiring teachers in New Hampshire’s North Country will get some financial help while they finish their degree program. The Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund money will be used for stipends to support the next cohort group of students during their student teaching semester in the spring of 2012. The North Country Teachers Certification Program (NCTCP) is a unique program allowing students, ranging from traditional college-age students to adult learners, to become certified teachers while taking their PSU courses close to their homes at the White Mountain Community College- Berlin (WMCC-Berlin) campus.

student teacher
Current NCTCP student Rheanna York with Grade 5 students at Lancaster Elementary School

NCTCP Director Irene Mosedale notes many of the students care for their families, hold down a job and maintain their other responsibilities while they earn their degree, so the Tillotson Fund money is crucial financial support that allows students to complete their degree requirements.

“This money is crucial for students needing to cut back on hours worked and who, in many cases, have added costs for child care and other expenses,” Mosedale said. “Students will know upon being accepted into the program this spring that if they have successfully completed all program requirements for certification by the beginning of the student teaching semester and maintain good grades, they will be eligible for a stipend provided by the Tillotson Fund.”

The North Country Teacher Certification Program (NCTCP) started five years ago as a pilot program among PSU, White Mountain Community College- Berlin (WMCC-Berlin), Granite State College and Plymouth State University, offering a Childhood Studies bachelor’s degree with K-8 Teacher Certification. The second cohort group of students will be graduating this May from PSU. Many of the students are the first-ever college students in their families and live in areas including Littleton, Lancaster, Berlin and Colebrook. Former NCTCP student Alaina Setz of Berlin is now a successful elementary school teacher and said the Tillotson Fund stipend helped her achieve her dream.

“While I was student teaching, the Tillotson Fund provided me money to pay for childcare,” Setz said. “The grant money allowed me to provide my son with a permanent daycare service. Not only did the fund pay for this but, I did not have to work nights and weekends while student teaching. Not having to work made it possible for me to concentrate on student teaching and do the best I could. If I would have had to work, I don’t believe that I would have been able to really do as well as I did while in the last “leg” of receiving my teacher certification. The grant was tremendously helpful and I truly appreciate every penny I received!”

The NCTCP starts with a two-year teacher preparation program at WMCC-Berlin, with the final two-years taking PSU courses while remaining on the campus of WMCC-Berlin.

In order to be eligible, students need to either complete the WMCC-Berlin teachers’ preparation program requirements or have acceptable transfer credits, in addition to passing the PRAXIS I test and maintaining a minimum GPA of 2.5. Openings are still available for the next cohort group beginning in the fall of 2010.

For more information about the North Country Teachers Certification Program or to schedule an appointment, contact Irene Mosedale or call (603)535-2836.

For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or blyndes@plymouth.edu

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