The competition for teachers is fierce, particularly in rural areas. By offering individuals like Eveon Rivers better pathways toward a job, Reach University is solving this problem.
As The74 explained, Rivers had 18 years of experience as a paraprofessional in pre-kindergarten. She wanted to lead a classroom, but didn’t have a bachelor’s degree. Through Reach University, Rivers is now getting her degree — and is paying just $75 a month for it.
To be eligible for the program, candidates must be employed with a partner school system. Half of their degree requirements are fulfilled on the job and through practicum-style courses. The rest is done through online seminars held after work hours and on weekends.
According to Reach University President Joe Ross, nationwide there are more than a million people like Rivers, paraprofessionals who have worked alongside lead teachers, and who would be eager to expand their own learning and credentials if existing degree programs were more flexible and affordable.
Reach University launched just two years ago with a cohort of 50 undergraduate candidates. Today, more than 1,000 learners are enrolled in job-embedded programs across four states.