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'Learn and Earn' program aims to fill teacher shortages

A Keystone College is starting a program to get teachers into the classroom. Newswatch 16's Courtney Harrison shows us how school districts hope to gain from it.

LA PLUME, Pa. — Keystone College hopes to have some new students on campus, but not necessarily traditional ones.

Fran Langan, Keystone's vice president of institutional advancement, says the college is almost ready to open enrollment for its new "Learn and Earn" educational program.

The program will help people with bachelor's degrees earn credits toward an emergency substitute certification and gain teaching credentials on the job.

"These are individuals who are not certified in education but would like to become a teacher in the public school system, so it's a mechanism to earn and learn," Langan said.

Keystone College received a grant from the Scranton Area Community Foundation for this program to help address the ongoing teacher shortage in northeastern Pennsylvania.

"There really is a need, and it's a national need. It's for all types of teaching positions, even paraprofessional positions, interestingly enough. It's not only for certified teachers."

Even though this program hasn't begun just yet, several school districts in our area are on board.

"They have many days of unfilled substitute positions available, so allowing individuals to come in and gain an emergency substitute certificate while they go for Pennsylvania certification is a win-win for both the schools and individuals."

Keystone College officials hope to launch this Learn and Earn educational program sometime later this fall.

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