Maryland Leads scholarships address Cecil County's teacher shortage


NORTH EAST, Md. – Cecil County Public Schools (CCPS) are working in unison with Cecil College to meet the need for educators within the county by offering full scholarships to qualified students pursuing a degree in teacher education at Cecil College. 

To be eligible for this grant, students must have graduated from CCPS in 2021 or 2022 and are currently enrolled in Cecil College’s Teacher Education program. Students are encouraged to apply to CCPS upon earning a bachelor’s degrees in teacher education. Students enrolled in the Teacher Academy of Maryland (TAM) program are also eligible. These scholarships are funded through Maryland's Local Education Agencies (LEAs). 

"Teaching is a fabulous profession where these young people, our educators of tomorrow, have an opportunity to shape their community. There isn't a day that I don't consider myself blessed that I chose a career where I get to help people. As a group of students receiving scholarships, this program will allow you to be in that very same position," said CCPS Superintendent Dr. Jeffery Lawson. 

These scholarships are funded through The Maryland Leads Initiative, a program funded by the State of Maryland and facilitated by Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), which supports LEAs in addressing short and long-term challenges related to the current labor shortage and attends to the longstanding need to establish and strengthen teacher pipelines and development. Maryland Leads LEA strategies for CCPS focus on growing its teachers' pool through financial support and staff retention.

Implementation of awards began with the Spring 2023 semester for 26 students pursuing an Associate of Arts in Teaching (A.A.T.) degree at Cecil College. This group of students include first- and second-year students along with CCPS juniors and seniors enrolled in the Teacher Academy of Maryland (TAM) program. Funding continues through the 2023-24 school year. 

“The Maryland Leads grant program has motivated me to reach my full potential in the education field, not only for my own goals but to highlight that teachers are an important part of the foundation of the future. The Maryland Leads grant program has pushed me to become that teacher that people will remember. This program has fueled my perseverance and determination regarding my classes because it has shown me that, by being granted this opportunity, I can realize my potential,” said Hannah Swanson, one of the 13 Cecil College students who signed a pledge to apply for a teaching position with CCPS upon earning their bachelor's degree in education. 

“The Maryland Leads Grant has impacted my time at Cecil College in the best way possible. It helped with the financial expenses (classes and textbooks) and provided new opportunities as I transfer to Towson University in Northeastern Maryland for the fall semester. After graduating with a teaching degree, the grant also offered a position at Cecil County Public Schools. I am thankful to be included in this grant and look forward to my future with CCPS,” said Natalie Sexton.

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