With Covid-19 restrictions, our recruitment efforts changed notably due to our inability to actually meet with people in-person (career fairs, classroom visits, and public events). For example, last year, before our first application deadline (November 1st), we had already visited 15 campuses, attended 13 career fairs, and had the opportunity to meet with 100’s of students in person.
This year, although we have been able to take advantage of some of the virtual career fair offerings from our partner colleges, we’ve also made a huge effort to reach out to more candidates remotely and build our online availability. We’ve substantially upgraded outreach efforts on LinkedIn, Facebook/Instagram, and Zoom. We’ve put a much greater emphasis on holding online information sessions for college students and career changers, and we generally hold 2-4 online info sessions per month with titles like “How to become a teacher in AR” and “How to use my STEM degree for public service”.
We are happy with our return on effort with the completion of our first round of selection for the 2021 cohort. After an initial round of application review, we invited 10 applicants to conduct a final group interview on Zoom consisting of an interactive sample lesson and group discussion/role-play based on a real-life classroom scenario, before closing out with an traditional individual interview in breakout rooms. Our major takeaway from the first application deadline is that we have been and can continue to be effective with a virtual approach.
For our first application deadline, we received 18 applications, accepted 4 new recruits, and identified 3 potential Community Sponsored Fellows. (By comparison, we received 17 applications and offered 6 Fellowships this time last year). We are on-track for our goal of recruiting a total of 25 new Fellows by our final deadline on March 1, in addition to another 20 Community Sponsored Fellows nominated by partner districts.
Congratulations to the first four fellows of the 2021 Cohort who will be teaching in the Arkansas Delta:
- Susie O’Neal, native of Blytheville, Ark.; graduate of Arkansas State University in Jonesboro with a bachelor of general studies emphasis on sociology, early childhood and health; employed for 22 years as an administrative assistant at Blytheville Middle School; currently working toward certification in middle school (4-8) social studies
- Ariana Rowles, native of Greencastle, Pa.; recent graduate of the University of Arkansas with a bachelor of art in English literature and a minor in classical studies; currently working toward certification in secondary (7-12) English Language Arts
- Riley Tribble, native of Benton, Ark.; recent honors graduate of the University of Central Arkansas with a bachelor of arts in history and a minor in honors interdisciplinary studies; currently working toward certification in secondary (7-12) social studies
- Erica Williams, native of Forrest City, Ark.; graduate of the University of Central Arkansas with a bachelor of science in nutrition/dietetics with over seven years of experience working in Arkansas hospitals; currently working toward certification in secondary (7-12) Family and Consumer Science
Apply here if you want to earn your teaching license while making a difference or reach out to John Hall, director of recruitment, at email@example.com if you know of any potential candidates or recruitment resources.