Of the 17 students who completed the Littleton Public Schools Teacher Cadet program last year, 16 are pursuing a career in education at a four-year …
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Of the 17 students who completed the Littleton Public Schools
Teacher Cadet program last year, 16 are pursuing a career in
education at a four-year institution, according to the course’s
The nationwide program came to Colorado in 2000, but 2010-11 was
the first school year it was offered by LPS. Students from the
Douglas County, Sheridan, Cherry Creek and Englewood school
districts also are allowed to participate. The goal is to maximize
the quality of the next generation of educators in the United
“So often, the best and the brightest go into law, engineering
or medicine. What we want to do is promote education as a career
and retain students as teachers,” said Katie Kirgan, LPS Teacher
This year’s program has 18 students. The class sizes are
intentionally kept small because the year-long curriculum is
rigorous and includes a heavy dose of hands-on training. The first
semester, in the fall, centers on classroom lectures and teacher
observations. The students then spend the spring semester gaining
field experience, teaching for two hours a day four days a week.
The teacher cadets are exposed to education at all levels, from
elementary through high school. The 15 required observation hours
also includes time spent shadowing administrators.
Teacher Cadet is open to high school juniors and seniors with an
interest in education. Students can earn both high school and
college credit for completing the curriculum. In addition to
learning how to teach, the cadets study the history of education,
how to find a job, the licensing process, and legal and ethical
The program calls Littleton Public Schools’ Ames Facility home,
which is at 7300 S. Clermont Drive in Centennial. Though it falls
under the umbrella of LPS, Teacher Cadet welcomes students from
many south metro school districts.
“It provides good perspective to hear different issues from
different school districts,” Kirgan said. “It just makes the
discussions that much richer.”
LPS’ Teacher Cadet is in a recruiting phase for the 2012-13
school year. Applications will begin to be accepted Feb. 1.
Prospective students should possess a grade-point average above
3.0, a good attendance record, solid teacher recommendations and an
enthusiasm for education.
The Teacher Cadet program was founded in South Carolina in 1985.
It has since spread across the country and came to Colorado in
Jefferson County in 2000.
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