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Davenport creates urban education program to address teacher shortage

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CALEDONIA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Davenport University is addressing the shortage of academics in Michigan with a brand new bachelor’s diploma in urban STEM education.

“We have a concentration on deep STEM knowledge,” stated Susan Gunn, Ph.D., the dean of Davenport’s College of Urban Education. “These teachers will know their background whether it’s biology, physics and chemistry and then we will add to that a core of courses on urban education.”

Gunn, a former teacher at Detroit Public Schools, says the shortage in academics is alarming. 

“Since August 2020 there’s a 44% increase in teachers retiring,” Gunn stated. “Prior to that we were having challenges in this state.”

Davenport is pairing the new program with new full-ride scholarships

Davenport STEM — science, expertise, engineering and math — college students getting into their junior and senior years who’re focused on instructing are eligible for the scholarships. 

“We know that one out of five teachers leave the profession within the first five years of their teaching, so that’s 20%,” Gunn stated. “What the scholarship is designed to do is provide support and make it easier for students to go this route but also get a commitment for every year of support you have to provide two years of service teaching in a high needs school.”

Other Davenport STEM college students planning on going into instructing are eligible for stipends.