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Grant Award Helps Train Industry Professionals to Enter the Classroom

July 27, 2017

BOISE — The Idaho Division of Career and Technical Education has awarded the University of Idaho College of Education Career and Technical Education program $271,796.00 in grant funding to conduct the InSpIRE to Educate, Educate to InSpIRE teacher preparation project. 

The project will prepare new teachers who have had successful careers in business and industry for Idaho classrooms and laboratories in high school and community colleges focused on careers and technical training.

“InSpIRE is an acronym for ‘Industry Specialists Integrating Real-World Experience,’ and as a word really speaks to the impact we believe these industry experts will bring to the classroom,” said Kristi Enger, director of Teacher Education and Certification at the Idaho Division of Career and Technical Education. “The personal cost of certification training has been a barrier in recruiting and retaining industry specialists. We’re excited that InSpIRE cohort can offer an alternative, no-tuition training in Idaho teacher preparation standards, and support from a teacher educator and mentor who will provide robust feedback on a regular basis.”

The first InSpIRE summer academy begins Monday, July 31, and runs through Friday, Aug. 4, in Boise. During the camp, University of Idaho Boise faculty and instructors will present workshops to give participants tools to get started in the classroom and laboratory this fall. About 60 teachers are expected to participate in the training.

InSpIRE to Educate is a free, two-year program, and participants also must be employed by an Idaho school district or technical college.

“There is a need to prepare students with college and career-ready skills to provide Idaho business and industry with a high skilled workforce,” said John Cannon, associate professor and interim chair in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in UI’s College of Education. “This program is part of the University of Idaho’s mission, and we will provide another tool to address recruitment and retention issues facing Idaho schools.”

The introductory summer academy is a statewide activity that divides students from Idaho’s six educational regions into 45-60 person cohorts for training. After the summer academy, InSpire to Educate participants will have monthly meetings and assignments with UI instructional mentors during the school year, and a second summer academy next year followed by eight more months of monthly trainings, assignments and mentorship observations.

In addition to the InSpIRE to Educate program, UI’s Career and Technical Education program will continue offering teacher preparation courses for certified occupational specialist teachers, all of these courses can be completed online. Along with teacher preparation for teachers with a limited occupational specialist certificate, UI provides teacher preparation in agriculture and natural resources; business and marketing; engineering and technology education; and family and consumer sciences.

Media Contact:

Maria Ortega

Marketing and Communications Manager, UI Boise


About the University of Idaho

The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, a research and Extension center in Twin Falls, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to more than 11,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky Conference and Sun Belt Conference. Learn more: