LINCOLN -- William Wilton of Gresham, a recent graduate of Centennial Public School, is among 40 students selected to join the inaugural cohort of the Teachers Scholars Academy at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln this fall.

Wilton plans to be a secondary education (family and consumer science) major.

The academy, funded by a donation from the William and Ruth Scott Family Foundation, was created to grow the teacher workforce in Nebraska and address a possible teacher shortage.

“This is an incredible group of students with diverse backgrounds and experiences who will help shape each other’s learning about society and education throughout their four years in the academy,” said Braden Foreman, academy coordinator at Nebraska.

Foreman will lead the academy and serve as an advocate and mentor for the scholars.

“This group represents some of the most promising future educators with already ample experience working with youth,” he said. “I am excited to see how they progress through the academy and into their careers of working with people and their respective communities.”

The Teachers Scholars Academy at Nebraska aims to expose future teachers to Nebraska’s schools, communities and changing demographics through experiential learning opportunities. Scholars will become innovative practitioners, ready to empower communities.

The scholars represent urban and rural areas in Nebraska and beyond. The scholars plan to major in one of 23 available teacher education programs offered by the College of Education and Human Sciences, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts.

“The academy is a chance to create teachers who shape the future of education across the diverse communities of Nebraska,” said Guy Trainin, chair of teaching, learning and teacher education. “New societal challenges need new ideas, and this cohort of leaders and innovators will do just that.”

In addition to classwork, scholars will gain experience with service and volunteer opportunities through the Lincoln community, be able to conduct research and live together as a cohort during the first year. They will also take part in the Teachers Scholars Academy Seminar course, designed to teach them about characteristics and qualities that make successful educators.

For more information on the academy and the 2020-21 application process, contact Foreman at bforeman@unl.edu or visit https://cehs.unl.edu/cehs/teacher-scholars-academy.

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