Helping Immigrants become Teachers

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Educational Leadership​


The Newcomers Entering Teaching program offers immigrants the support that they need to complete the requirements for teacher certification.

The problems of attracting a diverse, well-qualified pool of teachers reach every corner of the United States. In Portland, Maine—a designated federal refugee and immigrant resettlement area since 1972—meeting the needs of a rapid influx of students from around the world has challenged the schools and community. In 1998, community leaders representing the city's major ethnic groups called for the teaching population to mirror the diversity of the student population. They also sought opportunities for members of their communities who had been teachers in their home nations to return to the profession.

The Portland Public School District heard the call. The Newcomers Entering Teaching certification program supports professional opportunities for recent immigrants and refugees. It enriches the education of all our students with a greater understanding of the experiences of people from around the world and builds the capacity for members of every community to lead and teach.


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