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TEACh Pipeline Program

Miami University’s College of Education, Health and Society, by leveraging existing programs and relationships, seeks to collaborate with partners across K-12, higher education, and the community to scale a promising solution. Already in progress and receiving Ohio Department of Higher Education funding, TEACh Cincinnati (Transformative Educators Advocating Change) aims to scale a self-renewing educational ecosystem designed to grow its own diverse teaching workforce. 

The Challenges

Great communities require great schools. Great schools demand great teachers. Yet, as double-digit enrollment decreases in the nation’s educator preparation programs intersect with low retention rates for early career teachers and surging teacher resignations, the teaching profession faces critical shortages. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 567,000 fewer teachers today than before the pandemic. Closer to home, Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) began the 2021-2022 school year down nearly 200 teachers.

Cincinnati’s and the nation’s ability to recruit, maintain, and retain a vibrant, diverse, and deep teaching workforce faces challenges along three fronts.

First, there are not enough new teachers entering the pipeline to keep pace with the profession’s attrition rates. Between 2010-2018, there was a 50% decline in Ohio’s teacher education enrollments, placing Ohio as one of nine states with a net loss of more than 10,000 prospective teachers. More must be done to identify emerging teachers before college, invest in their pre-college preparation, and support their admission into and matriculation through teacher preparation programs.

Second, school districts struggle to retain early-career teachers. Pre-pandemic statistics indicated approximately 44% of teachers leave the profession within their first five years, with the most alarming rates among urban and high-need schools. A recent National Education Association (NEA) survey revealed that 55% of current teachers are planning to leave the profession earlier than planned.

Early career teachers require ongoing support in managing their social-emotional well-being and empowering their ability to work within school structures, particularly in urban environments.

Finally, the nation’s teaching workforce diversity is not keeping pace with national demographics. While 17% of Ohio’s students identify as Black, only 4.3% of the state’s teachers are Black. Despite ongoing recruitment and retention efforts in Ohio teacher preparation programs, enrollment of future teachers of color declined by 67% from 2010 to 2018.

The teaching workforce diversity challenge requires innovative approaches to identifying and attracting more prospective teachers of color earlier during their schooling and supporting them to graduation.

The Opportunity

In fall 2022, four students from Aiken High School are among seven total CPS students entering Miami University’s teacher education program, marking a key milestone for a groundbreaking program that began in 2019. Nine additional Aiken students already are positioned in this pipeline for fall 2023.

Founded as MU TEACh, the TEACh Cincinnati program began at Aiken with a simple premise – teachers favor districts similar to those they came from while also possessing a greater understanding of the challenges students in those districts face. The resulting recruit-retain-retire model, targets those teachers, preparing diverse, effective, long-term educators through the following stages:

  • Recruitment beginning in junior high and early high school with affinity groups and mentoring from in-residence Miami teacher preparation faculty.
  • High school juniors and seniors engage in college prep, college courses, and campus visits.
  • Students gain admission into Miami’s teacher education programs, backed by financial, academic, and social supports, enhancing both financial access and retention.
  • Students participate in Miami’s award-winning Urban Cohort program, preparing them specifically for the challenges and opportunities of urban teaching environments, and student teach in Cincinnati schools.
  • Graduates receive preferred hiring status within Cincinnati Public Schools.
  • Early career teachers receive ongoing mentoring and education through Miami’s master’s of transformative education program, enabling them to not only persist but thrive as teachers.
  • Early career teachers grow into established, high-impact teachers, persisting to retirement and creating lasting legacies as leaders and mentors in their school districts.

This model and its early successes led to a recent Ohio Department of Higher Education grant creating the capacity to support 20 teacher education students from CPS over two years. When combined with investments both from Miami and CPS, the program seeks to expand across Cincinnati high schools to graduate at least 100 new homegrown teachers in the next decade. The real promise is not in Miami’s impact alone but in the model itself, which can be scaled across Cincinnati schools and the nine higher education institutions graduating educators within 50 miles of Cincinnati.

Where Do We Go from Here?

While the challenge is daunting, the imperative for action, economically and socially, is too important to ignore. A shortage of quality teachers limits the effectiveness of our communities’ schools, leaving a generational impact on educational attainment and, ultimately, life outcomes.

The weight of this challenge is beyond the capabilities of any one entity or sector. The ramifications are felt and, thus, the responsibilities shared across a community.

Miami University and its College of Education, Health, and Society invite Cincinnati partners from across education, industry, government and philanthropy to join in critical discussions surrounding educator recruitment and retention and share of their knowledge and resources to ensure all Cincinnati students benefit from committed, well-prepared and inspiring teachers.

Show your support with an investment in TEACh Cincinnati. Give now.

Students stand behind and next to a speaker at a podium.

Show Your Support

Show your support with an investment in TEACh Cincinnati.

The Urban Cohort

Community-based approach to teacher education. Miami faculty and Urban Cohort students collaborate with high-need schools and community-based organizations to prepare teachers who are grounded in the life of the community.

The Urban Cohort is:

  • Action-oriented - Exposure to urban perspectives via textbooks and lectures is not effective. Miami’s program emphasizes face-to-face interactions and collaboration with community members. Students don’t just serve the community, they become part of it.
  • Supportive of student needs - Miami students often come from middle-class backgrounds. They are bright, socially conscious, and eager to make a difference, but many lack experience and confidence. So Miami’s program provides opportunities such as tutoring in urban schools and urban immersions (students spend a weekend in an inner city neighborhood working with community leaders on volunteer projects before they begin student teaching. Once students begin student teaching an interdisciplinary team of community, university, and school-based individuals provides mentoring.
  • Community-based - Teaching is a situated practice, and the goal is to produce a new kind of teacher who is both teacher scholar and urban scholar. Students work and live in neighborhoods such as Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine area. They student teach in schools such as Cincinnati’s Rothenberg Elementary or Chicago’s Michele Clark High School. And community members are not just guest speakers, but co-collaborators.
  • Collaborative - Urban Cohort collaborates with other university programs that share similar goals. Our main partners are the Office of Community Engagement and Service and the Center for Community Engagement in Over-the-Rhine. These offices provide assistance and support that are essential to our success.

With Urban Cohort, you won't just serve the community, you'll be a part of it.

Image of Tammy Schwartz“Forget no child left behind. We want every single child to thrive,” says Dr. Tammy Schwartz, Director of Urban Cohort.

Idealistic? Yes. Unrealistic? "Not at all," says Dr. Schwartz, who grew up on welfare and food stamps in one of Cincinnati’s toughest neighborhoods. She knows firsthand how teachers can make a difference in a student’s life.

Learn More

Contact Tammy Schwartz, Ph.D., Director of Urban Cohort, 513-529-0434


Confronting the Teacher Shortage Crisis

The teacher shortage has become a national crisis. COVID has exacerbated the issue, but other factors like burnout, a lack of adequate preparation and support, increased school violence, and political divides are also at play.

We'll speak with Dean Jason Lane from Miami University, and with experts from Cincinnati Public Schools, about how to address the issue. And we'll hear about a new initiative called TEACh Cincinnati, which aims to address the teacher shortage, while increasing diversity among educators at the same time.

Listen now

In the News

Contact Us

Logo for TEACh Pipleline ProgramTo get involved or for more information about the TEACh Pipeline Program, contact the MU Cincinnati Public Schools Pipeline Coordinator.