University of Miami

Teacher Program at UM Helps Staff Miami-Dade Public Schools

The Teacher Accelerator Program guarantees students a job placement with Miami-Dade County Public Schools

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A teacher shortage plaguing the nation and South Florida continues to spiral, as thousands of teacher vacancies are being reported across the state.

The University of Miami is now collaborating with a non-profit to help get teachers back into the classroom. Achieve Miami is hoping the new Teacher Accelerator Program (TAP) is the answer.

The program is guaranteeing job placement in a Miami-Dade County public school upon completion, which is fast-tracking students into the profession.

In just one semester, students will take a class once a week (Mondays or Thursdays). They will then be given $5,000 to take part in an internship with other veteran teachers. Job placement comes next.

TAP officials say there are currently 5,000 teacher vacancies across the state. Roughly 200 of those are in Miami-Dade.

You don’t have to be a UM student or have a background in education to take the pipeline program. 

Kwaku Edusei is a University of Miami student who just finished his undergraduate studies in security management. He is now one of the first to enroll in TAP.

“Myself, I’ve personally benefitted from education,” Edusei said. “I’m also looking for a perfect career.”

The program also aims to address equity issues in school districts facing staffing shortages.

Leslie Miller-Saiontz, the founder of Achieve Miami, says the program aims to reach the Gen Z population who may want incentives in achieving a new career. In the end, it could be a win-win.

“Education equity has always been a challenge, but right now, more than ever, it’s the biggest civil rights issue across our country,” Miller-Saiontz said. “These Gen Z-ers, they want some direction…they just don’t need to commit four years to it.”

Open enrollment for the spring semester ends on Jan. 25. For more information on enrolling in TAP, click here.

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