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JPS & William Carey University Continue Teacher Preparation Partnership

September 10, 2021

Ben Burnette and Errick L. Greene
Dr. Ben Burnett of William Carey University and Dr. Errick L. Greene of Jackson Public Schools sign a Memorandum of Understanding extending the JPS Teacher Certification partnership.

William Carey University and Jackson Public Schools renewed a Memorandum of Understanding to continue a successful teacher certification partnership begun in the fall of 2020. A signing ceremony was held on September 8, extending the partnership for three more years to 2024. JPS Superintendent Dr. Errick L. Greene and Dr. Ben Burnett, Executive Vice President of William Carey University, participated in the signing. Both also gave remarks about the program's success and promise along with JPS Deputy Superintendent Dr. Michael Cormack and Chief of Staff Dr. William Merritt.

"As a former, K-12 superintendent and principal, this is truly my passion, to get teachers in the classroom," said Dr. Burnett. "We've got children all over the state who need a quality teacher."

"What we know for sure, is that the best plans and the most dynamic resources and facilities and operations and trappings around education are for nought if we don't have caring and capable individuals in our classrooms," said Dr. Greene. "It's for that reason that I'm most excited about this partnership and others like it with our friends in higher education and you all have certainly been a standout in this work."

"We're excited to relaunch our partnership with William Carey University, which has been a tremendous ally and partner in our work to create talented and empowered teams in our District," said Dr. Cormack.

In his remarks, Dr. Cormack shared that 35 JPS employees are enrolled in the program through William Carey. The participants are filling vacancies in shortage areas, primarily in Exceptional Education. He gave credit to this partnership and others like it for helping the District start this school year with its fewest vacancies in recent memory.

The agreement between the two institutions establishes and implements the JPS Teacher Certification Program and provides a pathway to standard Mississippi Educator Certification for provisionally licensed employees of the District. The program will serve approximately 100 participants each school year. JPS employees who take advantage of this program are expected to complete the required pre-teaching coursework and teacher internship in order to obtain a standard, Mississippi Educator certification in accordance with the current Mississippi Department of Education Educator Licensure Guidelines.

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