MURRAY, Ky. — Murray State University has announced a new partnership with Christian County Public Schools (CCPS). This new program is centered on the premise of developing future educators and will involve students from both Hopkinsville and Christian County high schools in Murray State’s 18-county west Kentucky service region.
Participating high school students will take courses through a new dual credit program and earn college credit toward a degree offered through Murray State’s College of Education and Human Services.
“Murray State University is very excited to be partnering with the Christian County Public Schools in these creative and professional ways to educate future teachers who will then come home and practice their craft in the Christian County schools, system-wide,” said Murray State President Dr. Bob Jackson. “I especially want to thank Mr. Bentzel for his leadership, vision and partnership in order to make this program a reality.”
Christian County Schools Superintendent Chris Bentzel added, “It is exciting to think future CCPS teachers are sitting in our local high schools. This partnership with Murray State is the first step towards our students pursuing a career in education. Growing our own teachers benefits our students, our schools, and our community.”
This “Grow Your Own” program, part of the Educators Rising Kentucky initiative through the Kentucky Department of Education, holds significant opportunities for students to explore the teaching profession as a career before graduating high school with the potential of also helping address teacher shortages while expanding diversity in the teaching workforce.
“We look forward to collaborating with our colleagues in the Christian County Public Schools to deliver the Kentucky Department of Education Teaching and Learning Career Pathway with a purpose to support the recruitment of a future diverse and high-quality teaching force,” said Dr. David Whaley, dean of Murray State’s College of Education and Human Services.
Murray State Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Tim Todd, indicated that “this type of partnership benefits Christian County, Murray State, and our entire region of west Kentucky. We are very excited to work hand-in-hand in helping to build the next work force of teachers and educators.”
Bev Fort, the Christian County School’s Teacher Recruiter added, “As teacher recruiter for Christian County Public Schools, I am excited that our partnership with Murray State University will allow us to grow and invest in our future teachers. There is no better place to recruit our teachers of tomorrow than in our schools today.”