Three Illinois College students have been inducted into a prestigious teacher-prep scholarship program. Lauren Hemmerle of Auburn, Mallory Martin of Jacksonville, and Madison Ruiz of Rushville were a part of this year’s 263 recipients of the Golden Apple Scholarship Program for promising public school teachers.
The Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois provides teacher preparation and tuition assistance for high school seniors, and first- and second-year college students. Golden Apple scholars receive tuition support of up to $23,000, extensive classroom/work experience, academic support, job placement assistance and mentoring from award-winning teachers. To complete the program, students must maintain a 2.5 GPA, earn a bachelor’s degree from a partner college and commit to teaching for five years in an Illinois school-of-need within seven years of graduation.
Golden Apple said in a press release that this year’s class is one of the biggest they have ever had. The organization works to overcome the critical shortage of high-quality educators statewide. Illinois had more than 1,000 unfilled teaching positions in 2018, and colleges of education in Illinois universities have experienced a 50% decline in enrollment in the past 10 years.