An education scholarship in Mississippi seeks to bring more teachers to the state. Katianne Middleton, a sophomore from The University of Mississippi’s School of Education, is among first to be inducted into the Mississippi Excellence in Teaching Program (METP).
METP is a scholarship program for high school seniors who want to major in secondary mathematics or English and teach those subjects in Mississippi. The program is a collaboration of The University of Mississippi and Mississippi State University that started in 2013.
Middleton, an out-of-state student from Selma, Alabama, was finding it hard to cover the cost of tuition and was thrilled when she received a flier from The University of Mississippi about the scholarship upon graduating high school.
“I had academic scholarships, but they only provided $11,000 of the $30,000 it cost for out of state so when I heard about the METP and full paid scholarship I told my mom ‘this could be it’,” Middleton said. “I found out the day before my birthday that I was a recipient, and it was a great present.”
METP has become one of the most competitive education scholarship programs for students across the nation according to the UM School of Education Dean, Dr. David Rock.
“The Mississippi Excellence in Teaching Program is becoming one of the country’s top opportunities, if not the top” Rock said. The School of Education inducted Middleton and 14 other freshmen into the METP this school year and 15 the previous year.
Dr. Ryan Niemeyer, director of University of Mississippi METP is impressed with the growth of applicants too. “We can accept up to 20 fellows each year, but we are committed to maintaining high standards for this program and are very selective. These high standards are part of what will make METP the nation’s premiere opportunity for top-performing students who want to become educators,” Niemeyer said.
Rock says that the increasingly competitive program awards students from across the nation with a full four-year scholarship, room and board, a technology stipend, and a study abroad trip between semester breaks.
“There are talks that my class, the class of 2017, will be studying abroad in the British Isles the summer of our junior year,” Middleton said. The university provides a stipend to METP students of $6,000 to help cover the cost of studying abroad.
All students at the School of Education METP recipients are required to teach and observe under a professional teacher at a surrounding school in their junior and senior years. A perk of being a METP recipient is that they their observations in their freshman and sophomore years of college. Middleton says she is amazed at the interaction of the students she observed, and is ready to teach them. She also has advice to current high school students who are trying to get scholarships. “Do well on your ACT and familiarize yourself with general questions. I took a practice ACT my sophomore year of high school, and I think that helped me some,” Middleton said.
To apply for the METP scholarship, students must have a minimum ACT score of 28 or a SAT composite score of 1250 and a high school GPA of 3.5. To maintain the prestigious scholarship each recipient must maintain a 3.0 GPA each year.
“Our expectation is that METP fellows will challenge themselves and their classmates to achieve even more within our rigorous academic standards” Niemeyer said. The university is proud to have a 100% retention rate of the scholarship.
The school of education is planning to take recipients to Washington, D.C., during the 2014-15 spring break. Students will be able to tour the United States Department of Education, meet members of the house and senate, and tour the White House.
Emily Newton is a HottyToddy.com staff reporter and can be reached at email@example.com.