Rider University partners with local school district to battle ongoing teacher shortage

In an effort to address the national teacher shortage, Rider University said Friday that it is partnering with the West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District to offer a new program that supports school district support staff employees becoming teachers.

Through the Pathways to Teaching program, eligible West Windsor-Plainsboro Service Association employees, including instructional assistants, cafeteria aides, custodians, bus drivers, secretaries and other support staff, can receive tuition assistance for the completion of a bachelor’s degree in their chosen field and/or a teaching certificate.

“We are excited to announce our new partnership with Rider University that will provide our instructional assistants and support staff with the opportunity to transition into certified staff members,” David Aderhold, superintendent of schools at West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District, said. “These employees provide essential services that have a significant and positive impact on our students and the larger school community. By offering this program, we aim to not only benefit our employees, but also strengthen the district’s robust and diverse teaching staff, and the quality of education in our community.”

“West Windsor-Plainsboro has always supported our teachers-in-training and hired many of our graduates. This is a wonderful opportunity to expand that partnership by offering high-quality teacher training to the WWP support staff, teacher aides and other service professionals,” Jason Barr, dean of Rider’s College of Education and Human Services, said.

Additionally, employees of the West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District and their immediate family members may be eligible for a 20% tuition reduction through Rider’s partnership with the state of New Jersey.

“The financial assistance being offered through these programs will go a long way in helping those who might not have been able to afford to become a teacher otherwise,” Barr said. “We’re proud of the long-term investment that both Rider and West Windsor-Plainsboro are making in the teaching profession as a whole.”

The College of Education and Human Services’ small class sizes, extensive teacher preparation programs and numerous fieldwork experiences ensure students are highly prepared for their future careers. Among 2021 Rider education graduates, 100% were employed full-time or continuing their education.