Pathways to Education Experience encourages Highlander Charter School students to become teachers

Students can earn URI credits through the Pathways to Education program

KINGSTON, R.I. – April 19, 2024 – Students interested in becoming teachers will experience college life when the University of Rhode Island’s Feinstein College of Education hosts a “Pathways to Education Experience,” on Wednesday, April 24, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., on the University’s Kingston campus, as part of a $300,000 grant from the Rhode Island Foundation that aims to enhance programs targeting students of color who are planning to become teachers.

The College of Education has developed a teacher-preparation program at Highlander Charter School that includes admissions testing assistance and promotes continuing education credits.

“Our event aims to encourage Highlander high school students to participate in a career and technical education pathway to teaching where students will earn URI credits, and get to know the College of Education and Talent Development student leaders, faculty and staff,” said Diane Kern, URI education professor.

Highlander high school students can earn up to eleven URI college credits while still in high school, taking the same courses taught at URI that are approved to be instructed by a high school teacher with a master’s degree and expertise in the course content.

“We see this as a blueprint for future statewide education initiatives to diversify the state’s teaching workforce,” Kern said.

In addition to touring the campus, students will learn about education incentives, the University’s education-focused living and learning community, working in out-of-school programs, opportunities to return to their own communities as educators, and experience the university’s innovation labs.

“We know that efforts such as these will lead to a more diverse educator workforce,” said Danielle Dennis, dean of URI’s Feinstein College of Education.

The Pathways to Education program grant was awarded to URI last September, and will run through June 2025. The program intends to increase the skills and sense of belonging for urban high school students seeking admission to educator preparation programs, in turn, increasing enrollment, completion, and employment for teacher candidates from racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse backgrounds.