Program to recruit minority teachers grows and expands to Gainesville

In 2017, seven UNG students signed up for a new program in the College of Education to become teachers in Hall County Schools. Nearly two years later, the Realizing Inspiring and Successful Educators (RISE) program is considered a success. It has grown to 24 students and expanded into a parallel program with Gainesville City School System, said Dr. Sheri Hardee, dean of the College of Education.

“We are going to have to put a limit on the applicants because students in high schools are already asking about it,” Hardee said.

Through the RISE undergraduate program, the school district funds the tuition of its heritage Spanish speaking graduates who enroll in UNG’s teacher education program. UNG then supplements any additional needs such as books and other supplies.

The students work as paraprofessionals with English learners in Hall County elementary schools. Upon graduation, they will receive a job offer from Hall County Schools.

Yadira Hernandez is a paraprofessional at Myers Elementary School through UNG’s RISE program.