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Finding tomorrow’ teachers: Investigating school district plans for pre-collegiate GYO programs




"grow your own" (GYO), teacher preparation, teacher shortage, community college


Teacher shortages increase yearly while interest in the teaching profession seems to be at an all-time low. Policymakers are again seeing value in high school “grow your own” (GYO) teacher programs as a source of future teacher talent. Against the backdrop of career development models for teaching, we developed an instrument based on specific practices in the GYO literature and applied the instrument to review school district applications selected for statewide grant funding to evaluate the extent which proposed programs intended to enact such strategies. Applications reflected many of the recruitment, preparation and retention strategies found in the literature, but we also found three trends across the pool of applications that suggested GYO programs may miss their intended mark of increasing the number and diversity of teachers. First, application plans made limited use of current career models to guide recruiting efforts. Second, the application plans seemed unlikely to create diversity in the teacher talent pool. Third, plans for offering dual credit courses in high school gave little attention to aligning post-secondary academic pathways to undergraduate teacher certification. These results suggest that traditionally conceived pre-collegiate GYO programs need to be reimagined if they are going to be successful at mitigating teacher shortages.


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Author Biographies

Doug Hamman, Texas Tech University

Dr. Doug Hamman, Helen DeVitt Jones Endowed Professor of Teacher Education, previously served as founding chair of the Department of Teacher Education and, more recently, the Interim Associate Dean for Research at the College of Education in Texas Tech University. He was a teacher educator dedicated to uplifting the profession of teaching and expanding access to high-quality, university-based educator preparation programs–especially for rural and underserved communities. His most current research focused on teacher recruitment among high school students and teacher preparation programs at the university settings.

Shirley M. Matteson, Texas Tech University

Dr. Shirley M. Matteson currently serves the Interim Vice Provost of Outreach and Engagement at Texas Tech University and is an Associate Professor of Middle Level Education at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. Previously she served TTU’s College of Education as the Associate Dean for Research and Staff/Faculty Development. Dr. Matteson’s research interests include mathematical representations, improving in-service teachers’ skills in the teaching of thinking structures, and how to support students and faculty who are interested in community engaged research. Dr. Matteson also has a passion for developing graduate students’ research skills.

The Nguyen, Texas Tech University

Dr. The Nguyen completed her doctoral studies in curriculum and instruction at Texas Tech University. She received her master’s degree at Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia. She embraces a passion for integrating inclusion and diversity into curriculum to increase student teachers' experiences, knowledge and skills to be more responsible for the community and ready for social justice education. She has worked most recently as a specialist IV at The Virginia Murray Sowell Center for Research and Education in Sensory Disabilities.





How to Cite

Hamman, D., Matteson, S. M., & Nguyen, T. (2023). Finding tomorrow’ teachers: Investigating school district plans for pre-collegiate GYO programs. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 31.




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