Grow Your Own Teacher Apprenticeship Program


The University of Memphis College of Education has partnered with the Tennessee Department of Education through Tennessee’s Grow Your Own (GYO) initiative—immediately expanding opportunity to train future teachers and strengthening the teacher pipeline in Tennessee. UofM joins 8 other recently approved Educator Preparation Programs across Tennessee that will partner with local districts to help create a simple pathway for students who are interested in teaching to receive the training and credentials needed to serve in local classrooms. Tennessee Teacher Apprenticeships are a sustainable recruitment strategy to address both short- and long-term needs by addressing localized district staffing challenges.

In addition to the partnership, The UofM College of Education has been approved for subgrant funding from the Tennessee Grow Your Own Center to support teacher apprentices who will begin with orientation onboarding in summer 2023 with classes beginning in fall 2023. These funds will go to support apprentice tuition, fees, Praxis costs and mentor stipends – providing students in the program with a truly no-cost educational experience.

Learn more about the GYO Program

Watch this video, featuring Dr. Celia Anderson, COE Interim Assistant Dean, and Brian Ingram, our partner at MSCS.

Join the UofM COE Grow Your Own Teacher Apprenticeship Program

The GYO program is a partnership with the state of Tennessee that allows the UofM College of Education to provide a simple pathway for teaching assistants and paraprofessionals to use the relationships and skills they have already acquired on the job and complete the requirements to become fully-licensed teachers while they continue to work in classrooms. Also, the program allows for financial aid for pipeline participants, so that the program will be truly cost-free.

About the GYO Teacher Apprenticeship Program

"The GYO Program will positively impact the apprentices who participate as well as our district partners,” says Dr. Nichelle Robinson, Director of the Office of Teacher Education and Clinical Practice, “Each cohort of apprentices will build bonds with each other and our UofM College of Education faculty as they receive the supports needed to become teachers who will positively impact student learning. We will see the teacher pipeline grow over time as apprentices return to their community as highly effective classroom teachers familiar with their districts and the students those districts serve." 

 “We are excited to have our College of Education approved as one of the state’s Grow Your Own teacher apprenticeship providers”, said Dr. Kandi Hill-Clarke, dean of the College of Education. “This collaborative effort will allow school districts and educator preparation programs to enhance teacher pipeline efforts as we work to prepare classroom and student ready teachers.” 

Currently, the UofM GYO Teacher Apprenticeship Program is open to current teacher assistants and paraprofessionals who need to complete coursework and exams for full licensure. The first cohort will begin with orientation onboarding in summer 2023 with classes beginning in fall 2023.

Individuals interested in joining the GYO Teacher Apprenticeship Program should apply through their districts' Human Resource office.