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Leading Forward - PREPARE: Strengthen a New Generation

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Ensure educators feel prepared to effectively lead classrooms and schools to meet student needs

High-quality preparation matters. It impacts retention and persistence in the profession and student outcomes. Effective preparation includes coursework, field experiences, and student teaching.

Our data tells us:

  • Educator preparation program enrollment remains lower than the levels of 2008-2009.
  • There are significantly more prospective teachers enrolling in programs than completing them and becoming licensed to work in Wisconsin.
  • Required tests pose significant barriers for teachers looking to complete their programs, especially teachers of color.

Wisconsin is fortunate to have a large number of preparation programs consisting of two- and four-year institutions of higher education. Cooperative Educational Service Agencies (CESAs), non-profit and for-profit entities, and a school district. All approved programs whether post-baccalaureate or baccalaureate are required to meet the same standards for approval.

bullseye icon Our Goals

  • Grow additional preparation programs in high-need subject areas
  • Diversify the workforce
  • Prepare additional teachers to meet workforce needs
  • Increase connections between schools and preparation programs for additional student teaching and clinical placement opportunities

cog icon Strategies

DPI works with educator preparation programs and other state partners to support these strategies.

  • Assign each preparation program a DPI staff member to serve as a point of contact and provide support.
  • Provide educator preparation programs with data and reviews to support ongoing continuous improvement measures.
  • Ensure compliance with state requirements for effective educator preparation.
  • Work with stakeholders to ensure educator preparation requirements reflect current research and best practice.
  • Provide information on financial resources to remove barriers for prospective educators.
  • Survey schools to determine ability to support field placements and clinical experiences.
  • Provide high-quality teacher internships.
    DPI provides paid internships where prospective teachers complete an internship as their clinical experience while getting paid a stipend. Interns are assigned a cooperating teacher and may work on their own up to half-time through the Wisconsin Improvement Program.

bar chart with up arrow icon Ongoing Impact Measures

We continue to review and analyze the impact of these strategies through these sources: 

  • Enrollment and completion data
  • Employment data
  • Retention data
  • Internship data
  • Student outcomes

Financial Assistance Resources

Financial assistance is available from the State of Wisconsin's Higher Educational Aids Board (HEAB) and individual universities. The federal government also provides some loan forgiveness and financial aid programs.

HEAB Programs

Directly contact the financial aid office of a college or university for the most current information on available scholarships and grants. One example: UW-Madison offers the Teacher Pledge Program, a loan forgiveness program.

The federal government also provides financial aid options for teachers. U.S. Department of Education offers the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) grant, a grant for service.

References, Research, Resources, and Reports

Check out sources that drive focus areas and strategies on the Resources and Impact page.