Transfer agreement with UW-Madison aims to diversify teacher workforce

Diversity in teacher workerforce

Madison College students preparing to become elementary or special education teachers will have a direct pipeline to the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Education thanks to a new transfer agreement that guarantees admission into these teacher preparation programs for students who meet the requirements.

A press conference and agreement signing event will take place at noon on Thursday, Sept. 30, at Madison College’s Goodman South Campus, 2429 Perry St.

“Our School of Education is dedicated to helping students from our community follow their dreams of becoming educators,” says UW–Madison School of Education Dean Diana Hess. “We encourage everyone — including first-generation college students, students of color, students with language proficiencies other than English, and people who are considering a career change or earning a second degree — to consider utilizing this new transfer agreement to join our School of Education. I know our teacher education programs will greatly benefit from our growing connections to Madison College.”

As an added bonus, students transferring into UW–Madison's teacher preparation programs become eligible for significant financial support. The UW–Madison School of Education Wisconsin Teacher Pledge program pays the equivalent of in-state tuition and fees, testing, and licensing costs for all teacher education students. In return, students pledge to work at a Wisconsin PK-12 institution for three to four years after graduation.

Here’s how the new transfer agreement works: Madison College students enroll and ultimately earn an associate of arts degree in the liberal arts transfer education pre-major. Students also complete an electronic declaration of intent to participate in the initiative with a Madison College advisor — which is then forwarded to the School of Education. Students also meet with a Madison College and School of Education advisor at least once per semester.

Madison College students must also earn a 3.0 cumulative grade-point average or better in transferable Madison College coursework, and meet the requirements for admission to UW–Madison. The transfer agreement takes effect for students admitted to UW–Madison for the fall 2022 semester or later.

“It’s very exciting to learn that there will now be clear requirements and an easier pathway that make admission into UW–Madison’s School of Education attainable for Madison College students,” says Daniela Castellón, a UW–Madison senior who is pursuing her BS from the School of Education, with certification in elementary education and English as a second language (ESL).

Castellón started her postsecondary education at Madison College. And while she has known she wanted to become a teacher since her junior year at Watertown High School, Castellón says it took a lot of hard work and numerous meetings with Madison College advisors to make her dream become a reality. She was happy to find out recently that future Madison College students who hope to become teachers will have an easier, more defined route to get to UW–Madison.

“I want to make a difference in this world as a teacher, and I’m on that path now at UW–Madison,” says Castellón, who identifies as Latinx and is the first member of her family to attend college. “Our education system isn’t perfect. There is a lot of injustice, especially for people of color. It can be so difficult to help people get out of poverty and enjoy a better life. I want to be that person in front of young people who can inspire them and that they can look up to. That’s what pushes me: to have someone say, ‘I want to be like my teacher — like Miss Daniela.’ That would be cool and is a driving force.”

This new transfer agreement builds on longstanding relationships between Madison College and UW–Madison. The two institutions also have a transfer contract for students enrolled in Madison College’s liberal arts transfer program.

“This agreement strengthens the already deep partnership between Madison College and UW–Madison,” says Madison College Provost Turina Bakken. “It provides a clear path to a meaningful profession for those who historically did not see college as an option, but who we know will make great teachers one day.”

“At UW–Madison, we are committed to reducing barriers and broadening access to our university,” says UW–Madison Provost John Karl Scholz. “This new partnership helps us build upon our important relationship with Madison College. We are looking forward to welcoming and supporting students as they transition to our campus, and work toward their undergraduate degree and entry into the teaching profession.”