Industry News

Saint Louis University School and BloomBoard Partner to Address the Education Talent Gap

By eLearning Inside
June 22, 2022

Saint Louis University School of Education and BloomBoard have partnered to announce a new initiative to help superintendents and school boards address the current crisis of teacher recruitment and retention.  The initiative will include the development of collaborative strategies with school districts and educational leaders to enhance the number of PK-12 teachers to meet the needs of today’s students.

One of the first initiatives is the development of a program to support classroom aides and other paraprofessionals with earning a bachelor’s degree in education and qualifying for licensure as an elementary teacher in many states.  Saint Louis University has a long-standing tradition of high-quality online education for undergraduate degree completion for busy adults who are building careers in business, nursing, social work, and information technology. The Saint Louis University School of Education has been dedicated to developing teachers, principals, and superintendents through its comprehensive set of academic programs and faculty-led research.

Better investment in classroom aides

“Classroom aides and paraprofessionals are among the most dedicated personnel in a school district, and they often have strong ties to the community.  We want to support those who are seeking ways to elevate their careers and become licensed teachers,” says Gary Ritter, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Education. 

The School of Education is partnering with BloomBoard to collaborate with school districts that are interested in making new investments in the advancement of classroom aides and paraprofessionals. BloomBoard’s technology and competency-based approach align with Saint Louis University’s goals to address the nation’s major social challenges, including the teacher workforce shortages in schools serving students at the margins. 

Providing educators with better employment opportunities

According to Sanford Kenyon, BloomBoard’s CEO, “School districts are looking for new ways to show teachers’ aides and paraprofessionals that they honor their experience. By partnering with SLU to offer this program, we will be able to provide these highly committed professionals an opportunity to earn accredited bachelor’s degrees in their employment context, often with significant financial support from their districts.” 

Over the next few years, the Saint Louis University School of Education and BloomBoard will continue to collaborate to give school districts more ways to sponsor outstanding teachers and provide advancement opportunities. The new approaches will complement the SLU’s research, policy advocacy, on-campus classes, teacher development programs for urban schools, administrator certification, and more.

Saint Louis University is located in St. Louis, Missouri, with a campus in Madrid, Spain ⁠— is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious Catholic universities. Founded in 1818, SLU is recognized for world-class academics, life-changing research, compassionate health care, and a strong commitment to faith and service. Guided by its enduring Jesuit mission, SLU offers nearly 13,000 students a highly rigorous and deeply transformative education that helps them develop into bold, confident leaders. Rated among the nation’s top research universities, SLU boasts 15 graduate and undergraduate programs ranked among the top 50 in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

BloomBoard offers micro-credential advancement pathways for educators to meaningfully improve their instructional practices, elevate their careers and increase their compensation. BloomBoard partners with states and school districts to create planned roadmaps for advancing educators based on a system’s uniquely identified needs and gaps.

Features image: Drazen Zigic, iStock.