Innovative program addresses teacher shortages in Green Bay and Wisconsin

New partnership with GBAPS and UW-Green Bay prepares a cohort of GBAPS employees to become teachers

Green Bay, WI —  Efforts to fill Wisconsin’s severe teacher shortage – with more than 2,500 vacant positions statewide – will soon be boosted by a new partnership between the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and Green Bay Area Public Schools (GBAPS).

This Spring 2023, an innovative pathway program launched with a cohort of 15 GBAPS employees with bachelor’s degrees who were admitted to the university’s Master of Science Applied Leadership in Teaching and Learning (MSALTL) degree for elementary teacher certification. The effort will provide critically needed support to fill teacher openings, reduce class sizes and spread equity in education. Program costs, including student tuition and books, are funded by a Fast Forward grant from the State of Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD).

This vital community partnership is part of UW-Green Bay’s mission to open the door for professional advancement for every prospective student, while empowering our region with a workforce that uplifts and enhances the communities we serve.

“We’re excited about this new pathway and how it unites the professional ambitions of GBAPS employees with our exceptional teacher preparation program, to provide a solution to a growing issue in Wisconsin and across the country. It’s core to who we are as a university,” Tim Kaufman, UW-Green Bay chair of education and director of MSALTL.

The advanced degree program will enable hourly paraprofessional employees of GBAPS to advance to a master’s lane teacher position, which on average increases their annual salary from $30,053 to $50,561. This partnership was praised by DWD Secretary-designee Pechacek for bridging the gap between supply and demand with Wisconsin’s workforce needs.

“This unique program is a game changer in the school district’s efforts to ‘grow their own,’ keeping caring, dedicated individuals in the workplace, while removing financial barriers,” stated GBAPS associate director of community partnerships and grants Amy Fish. “We value our continued partnership with UW-Green Bay in meeting the needs of our district, students and community.”

About UW-Green Bay
Established in 1965, UW-Green Bay is a public institution serving more than 9,600 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students and 95,000 continuing education learners each year. We educate students from pre- college through retirement and offer 200+ degrees, programs and certificates. UW-Green Bay graduates are resilient, inclusive, sustaining and engaged members of their communities, ready to rise to fearlessly face challenges, solve problems and embrace diverse ideas and people. With four campus locations, the University welcomes students from every corner of the world. In 2021, UW-Green Bay was the fastest-growing UW school in Wisconsin. For more information, visit

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