Aspiring to Educate is structured to benefit individuals at various stages in their education and life. The three tiers of the program provide multiple pathways for participants and provides local educational agencies (LEAs) with a constant stream of teachers highly prepared to fill gaps in different high-need areas. The eligibility and program requirements for each of the three segments are:
Youth Pathway for Aspiring Educators
Under the pilot's youth pathway, students would begin Aspiring to Educate during their junior year of high school with a path into a partnering institute of higher education (IHE) that is prepared to offer them the support they need to effectively complete the program. Under this model, students would enroll in a series of dual enrollment courses with upwards of 30 credits available, putting them ahead once they are officially admitted to an IHE.
Additionally, students will be mentored through a partnership with The Center for Black Educator Development and supported by The Philadelphia Youth Network. These partnerships are geared at retention and provide students with the support they need to thrive once enrolled at an IHE. Early recruitment is an essential part of Aspiring to Educate, and it provides LEAs the promise of highly qualified teachers who are always in the pipeline.
Adult Pathway for Aspiring Educators
Under the adult pathway, students who meet satisfactory academic requirements and have at least 30 credit hours that count toward a teacher certification program can enroll and will be given hiring priority and financial support (contingent upon multiple sources of funding) throughout the duration of the program.
Post Baccalaureate and Continued Development for Aspiring Educators
Aspiring to Educate also considers non-traditional candidates who may have already earned a bachelor's degree and are interested in becoming teachers. These post baccalaureate candidates can enter the program once they meet the satisfactory program requirements and are given the same benefits of other adult candidates.