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St. John Fisher & FLCC work to boost rural teacher pipeline

St. John Fisher college campus plans to reopen in the fall.
St. John Fisher College
St. John Fisher college campus plans to reopen in the fall.

Two local colleges will use a federal grant to help alleviate a teacher shortage in high-needs rural school districts.

St. John Fisher College, in partnership with Finger Lakes Community College, are using a nearly $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation in this effort.

Associate Professor of Chemistry at Fisher, Kermin Martinez-Hernandez says the money will recruit college students with the help of some scholar ship money. 

“The goal is to recruit 20 students that are going to become STEM teachers, getting a degree, a BA in biology, chemistry, physics or math. So as part of the program, the student will get some scholarship in their junior or senior year,” Martinez-Hernandez said.

The program will also provide trauma sensitivity training for the college students, so that when they become teachers, they will have a better idea of how to deal with the social, emotional and physical challenges the students they are teaching are dealing with outside of the classroom.

Fisher will work with FLCC to recruit students from rural, high-need areas and will place particular effort on attracting those transferring from community colleges.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.