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We are reviewing cohort 2 Teacher Candidate applications. Applicants and districts can expect to receive decisions by May 17.

Registered Apprenticeships

What is a Registered Apprenticeship?

A registered apprenticeship is a key part of the Talent Together experience.  Completing a registered apprenticeship is an opportunity to obtain paid work experience and gain classroom instruction while a teacher candidate completes their final year of coursework.

Registered Apprenticeships generally occur during the final year of coursework, preparing teacher candidates for the full responsibilities of a teaching position.

Apprentice teachers work side-by-side with a Mentor Teacher for a complete school year, gradually taking on more teaching responsibilities as the year progresses. This allows for candidates to experience a complete school year in a strong teacher’s classroom and receive coaching from a highly qualified mentor. Throughout the year, apprentice teachers practice Michigan’s Core Teaching Practices and other skills with support.

Registered Apprenticeships are approved through the U.S. Department of Labor.

Table of Contents

Roles and Responsibilities

Talent Together’s apprenticeship program is intentionally designed to create wraparound supports for our apprentice teachers. Here is a summary of roles and responsibilities during a RAP year:

Apprentice Teacher

  • Apprentices are Talent Together teacher candidates, typically in their final year in the  program, who have not yet earned a teaching credential in Michigan
  • Apprentices earn 80% of a first year teacher salary in their employing district, as well are benefits negotiated through the district’s collective bargaining agreement
  • Apprentices works with a Mentor Teacher selected and paid through Talent Together, with a focus on demonstrating proficiency in Talent Together’s Registered Apprenticeship Program standards
  • Apprentices are deemed to have fulfilled the requirements of the apprenticeship when they have demonstrated proficiency with the Registered Apprenticeship Program Standards, as evaluated by the Mentor Teacher

Mentor Teacher

  • Mentors support teacher candidates to demonstrate proficiency with the Registered Apprenticeship Program standards 
  • Mentor Teachers are responsible for evaluating the proficiency of their apprentice teacher
  • Mentor Teachers are deemed to have fulfilled the requirements of the mentorship when their apprentice has demonstrated proficiency with all Registered Apprenticeship Program Standards
  • Mentors are selected through Talent Together’s rigorous selection process. Mentors may be recommended by employing districts, but all mentorship candidates must be selected and hired directly by Talent Together 
  • Mentors are required to participate in professional learning with the Talent Together team, and may be required to participate in an intensive support plan if their Apprentice is at risk of not successfully completing their Apprenticeship
  • Mentors earn a $7500 stipend directly from Talent Together for a successful year of mentoring

Employing Districts

  • Districts partner with Talent Together to hire and place Apprentices Teachers, and support Mentor Teachers to effectively execute the responsibilities of their role, including completing Registered Apprenticeship Program  processes, and documenting proficiency  in Talent Together’s systems
  • Districts hire apprentices with the explicit intent of subsequently hiring them as teachers of record upon their successful completion of the apprenticeship and all other program requirements, including the requirements of their educator preparation program (i.e. university)

School Leaders

  • Typically, school administrators have recommended the teacher candidate to participate in Talent Together. They also provide approval for the teacher candidate to complete their apprenticeship in the administrator’s school
  • School administrators make a “best effort” commitment to provide a teacher of record position to the teacher candidate upon their completion of the certification process
  • School administrators are responsible for supporting the teacher candidate alongside the mentor, with the mindset that this individual will soon serve as a full time teacher in their school

Related Technical Instruction Partner

  • Related Technical Instruction Partners are colleges and universities that provide education preparation programs which result in teacher certification in Michigan
  • Related Technical Instruction Partners are approved through  Talent Together’s registered apprenticeship to ensure apprentice teachers complete all required coursework required by MDE to obtain certification

FAQs for Teacher Candidates

While most traditional student teaching experiences last just one semester, our Registered Apprentice Program provides an opportunity to “learn and earn” alongside a Mentor Teacher for a full academic year. Working in partnership with Educator Preparation Programs to fulfill their requirements, the yearlong apprenticeship experience allows Apprentice Teachers to learn and develop skills in the classroom, establish and nurture relationships within a school community, and witness a full year of academic and social emotional growth of their students, while also earning a salary and benefits.

To be eligible for a registered apprenticeship, a Talent Together Teacher Candidate must:

  • Be admitted, enrolled, and able to maintain satisfactory academic progress in a Talent Together-approved Educator Preparation Program;
  • Be in the final year (or within one semester) of completion of an Educator Preparation Program as a Talent Together Teacher Candidate;  
  • Meet all requirements outlined in the Talent Together Teacher Candidate Agreements and be in good standing with the district employer;
  • Registered apprentices may not be a Teacher of Record during the academic year of the apprenticeship.

Yes. Apprentices receive the same tuition reimbursement and annual stipend of $750 for books and supplies as they did in other portions of their Talent Together pathway.

The apprenticeship cannot be split across multiple school years and must be completed for the duration of the district’s school year. The timing of an apprenticeship depends on the timing of your post-secondary institution’s clinical experience. 

  • For Teacher Candidates whose post-secondary clinical experience is August – December, the apprenticeship experience will begin in August and extend through the end of the academic year of their district of employment. 
  • For Teacher Candidates whose post-secondary clinical experience is January – May, the apprenticeship experience will begin in August of the previous calendar year and extend through the end of the academic year of their district of employment.

An apprenticeship year better prepares teacher candidates to be successful in their first year of teaching. A statistically high number of teachers leave early in their career due to the pressures and growing pains of being a new teacher. By participating in a full year of apprenticeship, apprentice teachers are working side-by-side with a veteran teacher who will be able to help them build the toolkit they need to thrive in their own classroom. 

It’s not just another teacher that the apprentice can talk to about challenges, it’s someone who is there with them in the classroom for that school year and works collaboratively with them as they navigate lessons, behavior management, parent communication, and all of the other responsibilities that can build up and result in teacher turnover in those first years. It’s setting them up to be better prepared with real experience rather than trying to just figure it out as they go.

No. The apprenticeship year fulfills clinical experience requirements as defined by Michigan Department of Education (MDE) and the certification program of Talent Together’s partnering post-secondary institutions.

FAQs for Districts

Yes. Apprentice Candidates are full year employees of a School District or ISD who will be paid a salary (benchmarked at 80% of district’s starting teacher salary) and standard benefits (standard health and PTO at minimum). These expenses are the responsibility of the School District but are reimbursed twice yearly by Talent Together’s fiscal agent, Marquette-Alger RESA. This is a change from school year 2023-2024 when reimbursements were issued quarterly. 

After the close of each semester, the School District will submit an Apprenticeship Allocation Reimbursement Request to Talent Together. With this request, the School District will include a copy of their general ledger showing proof of the salary/fringe expenditures for each Apprentice. At the same time, the School District will agree to provide appropriate documentation in the event of an audit, and agree not to use funds from Section 27b in conjunction with Talent Together funds to support this individual. The finance team will send the twice annual request for Registered Apprenticeship Reimbursement requesting documentation and certification from . Approved funds are reimbursed within 30 days of receipt of the Apprenticeship Allocation Reimbursement Request if no correction/adjustment is needed.

Upon agreeing to employ a Talent Together teacher candidate as an apprentice, districts are making an explicit commitment to hire that individual when they successfully complete the apprenticeship and earn their teaching certification. Part of our commitment to our teacher candidates is a full time teaching position at the end of their program. 

We understand that Districts face challenges in anticipating staffing needs, budgets, applicant pools and other factors when determining whether they can commit to hiring their teacher candidate by June 30. In order to prevent scenarios where teacher candidates experience unexpected unemployment, Talent Together commits to supporting those individuals in hiring processes in other districts, if they do not receive a timely offer from their host district.

Talent Together carefully selects Mentor Teachers we believe will best support apprentices. Interested teachers can apply on our website. We invite applicants who are qualified and match our placement needs (district and certification area). We are looking for high caliber candidates who demonstrate instructional excellence, commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and interest in growing as an educator and leader. School or district leaders should encourage highly effective teachers to apply to become a Mentor Teacher at https://mitalenttogether.org/apply.

No. The Talent Together apprenticeship program requirements prohibit apprentices from executing the responsibilities of the position of a teacher of record. They must be supported by a mentor on a daily basis throughout the course of the apprenticeship year.  With their school administration’s support, apprentice teachers may “cover” the classroom if their mentor is out for a sick day, but these should be significantly limited.  If apprentices are regularly performing duties outside of their apprentice teacher role, Talent Together will discuss with district leadership and may withhold reimbursement payments. 

No. Mentors must be teachers of record and serve in instructional roles full time, to safeguard the learning and professional experiences that will prepare teacher candidates to become effective first year teachers.

Experiencing the full school year from setting expectations on the first day to celebrating successes on the last day is part of the benefit of participating in the RAP. Therefore, an apprenticeship must last the entire duration of a school year, beginning with the start of the school year. 

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