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New Teacher Pathway - Talent Together

teacher isĀ in a classroom


Interested in Talent Together?

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Talent Together is a consortium of 39 Intermediate School Districts (ISDs), including Oakland Schools ISD, that have formed an innovative partnership to address the teacher shortage crisis in Michigan.  Dubbed "Talent Together", the partnership includes districts spanning 63 counties—from the Upper Peninsula to Southeast Michigan—that collectively serve over 1,019,000 students. To date, this is the largest education collaboration of its kind in state history.

The partnership will include pathways for aspiring teachers of all education levels, including those who do not yet have a bachelor’s degree. Focused on teacher quality, this innovative model will also make use of apprenticeships, a way to develop educators that is newly recognized by the United States Department of Labor.  Program fellows who are seeking certification will be required to meet federal apprenticeship guidelines, which means at least one year of “practice” in classrooms and fully paid at a competitive wage. Talent Together will identify pathways for each of these certifications. On Dec. 1, the consortium launched a request for proposal (RFP) asking Michigan colleges and universities to offer proposals that would meet the partnership’s needs.

The Talent Together consortium has been working together since early summer 2022 but began to pick up steam as the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) announced an upcoming Grow Your Own grant based on the legislature’s allocation of $175M for that purpose. The group has been working with education talent experts at the Michigan Educator Workforce Initiative, to design the innovative program. 

Talent Together believes this program will produce hundreds more teachers in the next five years. The program is being built for sustainability, so that even when initial Grow Your Own grant dollars are exhausted, Talent Together can continue to provide opportunities for interested candidates to become teachers.

The program plans to welcome its first cohort of teacher candidates in the fall of 2023. We expect the application process to begin no sooner than spring 2023.

Program Goals

  • Remove barriers to the teaching profession by creating flexible and accessible pathways for aspiring teachers.
  • Significantly reduce vacancies in the certification areas identified as highest-need, including special education and early childhood settings.
  • Improve alignment of teacher and student demographics in participating districts by targeting recruitment efforts towards under-represented candidates and by removing common barriers to program entry and completion.
  • Improve educational outcomes for students served by program participants through the development of essential teacher skills and mindsets and differential retention of highly-qualified and well-prepared teaching candidates.
  • Increase retention of novice and experienced teachers through the development of professional learning experiences and career advancement opportunities.
  • Improve the economic mobility of candidates in support staff roles by providing paid, job-embedded opportunities to advance their careers.
A map of counties in Michigan involved in Talent Together, with some counties in green designated as lead partners and some i