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For Immediate Release (01-71)
Date: December 14, 2001
Contact: Dave Willingham, 240-567-7970; Steve Simon, 240-567-7952
 
Holiday Hint for High School Seniors - Learn About 
Preparing for Teaching Career Opportunities 
New Montgomery College Teacher Training Program Starts in January

Researching college opportunities like Montgomery College’s new “Growing Teachers” program would be a good way for high school seniors to spend some of their free time during the upcoming holiday season, according to education experts. 

"The holiday break is a perfect time for students to intensify their college search," said Karen R. Johnson, Maryland’s Secretary of Higher Education. "It is also a good time to become familiar with scholarships and financial aid available. The longer a student waits, the stiffer competition becomes for both admissions and financial aid."

High school seniors won’t have to wait for “Growing Teachers.”  The cost effective Montgomery College program, which leads to an associate of arts in teaching (A.A.T.) degree, begins in January at the College’s Rockville campus.  High school seniors can join right away for a quick start on earning a certificate and getting into one of this decade’s hottest careers.

Demand for teachers is high and promises to intensify with the state of Maryland and Montgomery County facing a severe shortage of teachers at all levels, especially in secondary and special education. 

“Growing Teachers” is designed to help ease that crunch. Its curriculum provides the first two years towards a bachelor’s degree in teacher education and teacher certification, plus seamless transfer to four year schools. Maryland is the first state in the nation to ensure that students in A.A.T. programs can transfer to any public or private four-year institution in the state without loss of credit. 

Through Montgomery College's program, students will begin their teacher preparation studies at a fraction of the cost of most colleges and universities.  At the conclusion of their two years, they may wish to transfer to one of Montgomery College’s partner universities, which include the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and Towson University.  Students may be able to complete their studies in Montgomery County, through the Universities at Shady Grove.

High school seniors participating in the program will start by taking two college courses on the Rockville campus during after-school hours.  The first classes will be held during the 2002 spring semester, which starts January 22.

Montgomery College, Maryland's oldest and largest community college, offers program participants two sources of financial aid to help pay tuition and fees. High school students may apply for a Maryland State Dual Enrollment Grant, which covers the cost of one three-credit college course per semester and is available for both the spring and first summer semester in 2002. Once students enroll full-time in a teacher education program, they may apply for a Maryland Teacher Scholarship, worth $2,000 per year at Montgomery College and $5,000 per year for juniors and seniors at Maryland universities and colleges.

High school seniors participating in this program will start by taking two college courses on the Rockville campus during after-school hours.  The first classes will be held during the 2002 spring semester, which starts January 22.

Applications for the first class of the "Growing Teachers" program are due January 1. For more information or to receive an application packet, call the Montgomery College Education Department at 240-567-1757. For financial aid information, contact the Montgomery College Financial Aid Office at 240-567-5100. 

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