LINCOLN — Austyn Stewart of Lexington is among 40 recent high school graduates who have been selected to join the second cohort of the Teacher Scholars Academy at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln this fall. Stewart plans to be an elementary education or secondary education major.
The academy, funded by donations, was created to grow the teacher workforce in Nebraska and cultivate innovators in future classrooms. Students accepted into the academy receive 120 credits of in-state tuition and $8,000 annually to be used for room and board, books and fees.
Scholars live together in a residence hall on campus, take a first-year seminar course together and connect with teacher education faculty before core education courses begin. Scholars also have additional leadership opportunities through the program
The inaugural cohort of scholars has expressed that they feel comfortable utilizing university faculty and staff when they need support. Additionally, scholars participate in activities related to mental health and wellbeing, diversity and inclusion, and service. Collectively, scholars completed 215.5 hours of service in the spring semester before the pandemic required service projects to end. Scholars are able to translate those lessons into the classroom.
“My experience in the academy has been one where I have been challenged, and I am among a group of peers who help me rise to the occasion and hold me accountable,” said Victoria Foort, secondary education (social science) major. “It has helped me keep my end goal in mind, which is education. Being with this group has helped me push through challenges because everyone has similarly high expectations.”