Cooperating Teacher Voucher
For a number of years, the Georgia Legislature funded the Capstone Grant Program to make honoraria payments to teachers in local school systems who supervise Teacher Candidates. Classroom Teachers/Cooperating Teachers receive $50 for mentoring a Teacher Candidate. Capstone program funds are no longer available to teacher preparation institutions for distribution. The Tift College of Education of Mercer University, along with other public and private teacher preparation institutions state wide, received notice of this decision in late July, 2003. There has been no move to replace these funds since that time.
The administration of Mercer University recognizes that the student teaching experience is one of the most important activities in teacher preparation and that the placement of Teacher Candidates with highly qualified teachers who serve both as supervisor and mentor is equally important. Therefore, in a demonstration of support for professional education and its future growth and development, budgetary support will be provided so that each Cooperating Teacher who is working with a Mercer student can receive a payment in the amount of $50. For those Classroom Teachers/Cooperating Teachers who might choose to pursue a graduate program at Mercer University, or for those who might choose to enroll in classes to renew their certificates, a voucher in the amount of $150 toward tuition payments can be chosen rather than the $50 payment. Rather than selecting either of the above described options, a teacher could also elect to transfer the voucher to a second party, a colleague in his/her school who might wish to begin a graduate program or who might need to renew a certificate.
While we cannot change the elimination of funding allocation from the state for the Capstone Grant Program, the administration of Mercer University can offer this demonstration of concern and support for the education profession.