The History of the Drexel Grant (2002-2011)

The Alabama-Pennsylvania Transition to Teaching Project
in conjunction with Drexel University

Experts predict that the nation's public schools will need to hire more than 200,000 teachers each year for the next decade. More than 1/3 of these teachers will be needed in poor urban and rural communities. The shortages are most pervasive in mathematics and science, areas where U.S. graduates lag far behind their international peers. As school districts scramble to fill vacancies, schools that serve low income and minority populations will have the most difficulty, often having to employ less than qualified teachers.

The Mobile County Public School System has partnered with Drexel University, Recruiting New Teachers, the National Executive Service Corps, Drexel eLearning, and The Math Forum @ Drexel to prepare highly qualified teachers to fill current and expected 7-12 math and science teaching vacancies. Mobile County schools are designated as "high need" as per Section 2312 under the ESEA Program Statute. During the 2001-2002 school year Mobile County Schools could not hire certificated teachers and therefore had to apply for approximately 75 emergency and alternative certificates in the areas of mathematics and science. The shortage of mathematics and science teachers has escalated in the last few years due to the increased number of credits required in mathematics and science for graduation by the Alabama State Department of Education; students have to earn four (4) mathematics credits and four (4) science credits for graduation.

The APTT will make a significant contribution to the staffing of schools and to student learning by providing funding for the 170 math and science teachers to become certified through Alabama's Alternative Baccalaureate Certificate program. The Drexel Grant recruiting strategy has been to seek out (1) mid-career professionals who would like to consider a transition to teaching either because of economic downsizing, retirement, or other reasons, and (2) recent graduates who have strong backgrounds in math or science but make the decision not to pursue a career in industry. Letters and fliers have been produced and mailed to local businesses and engineering organizations, as well as to college and university career services offices to advertise and recruit quality candidates.

For more information contact John Powell at Mobile County Public Schools, Human Resources Division. Phone: 251-221- 4590 Email: