In 1998 the Mississippi Legislature passed House Bill 609 which addresses the critical teacher shortage in state, with Section 13 of this bill providing for the University Assisted Teacher Recruitment and Retention Program. As a result of Section 13 of HB 609, the Mississippi Teacher Fellowship Program is designed as an innovative partnership to address Mississippi's teacher shortage.
The purpose of the program is to attract qualified teachers to the critical teacher shortage areas of Mississippi. Scholarships will be made available to persons seeking a Master of Education or Educational Specialist degree at a Mississippi institution of higher learning in exchange for employment in these geographical shortage areas. The vision for the Mississippi Teacher Fellowship Program is to provide educational experiences to students enrolled in at-risk schools that will allow these students to participate fully in the economic and social opportunities of out nation.
A cohort group will be recruited each year. Priority consideration will be given to applicants who are relocating from within Mississippi or out of state to teach in critical shortage areas as identified by the State Board of Education.
In exchange for a three-year commitment to teach in a critical teacher shortage area, selected participants receive the following benefits: