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Michigan State University shortens five-year teacher training program to a four-year model

stone MSU sign made of brick and limestone. The lettering of the university's name is painted green
Reginald Hardwick
/
WKAR-MSU

Michigan State University’s Teacher Preparation Program will soon take four years to complete instead of five. The aim is to make the program more efficient and affordable.

Kyle Greenwalt is the Associate Director of Teacher Preparation at MSU. He says eliminating the program’s fifth year reduces financial barriers and encourages more diverse candidates to apply.

According to the university, students enrolled in the program will save an estimated $16,700 in tuition, not including living expenses and other costs.

Greenwalt says the updated model will also help address the state’s teacher shortage.

“This is on everyone’s radar, and so we need to get high quality teachers out into Michigan’s classrooms as quickly as possible,” he said.

Greenwalt stresses the shortened program maintains key elements of the current one including a yearlong internship. He adds the program has been in need of an update for years.

“There are artifacts of our program that just don’t match the current reality,” he said. “I think our students, you know, want a program that’s efficient, that gets them in and out of MSU in four years and allows them to get out into the workforce.”

Current first and second-year students can switch to the new model next spring. Incoming students in the fall of 2023 will be enrolled in the four-year program.

Melorie Begay is the local producer and host of Morning Edition.
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