ILLINOIS - Golden Apple, a non-profit dedicated to preparing, supporting and mentoring aspiring teachers, has extended the deadline to apply to its Accelerators program to January 31, 2023. Through the Accelerators program, Golden Apple aims to meet the teacher shortage crisis head on throughout southern, central and western Illinois by providing a path to teaching for non-educators with bachelor’s degrees looking to make a difference in classrooms right in their communities. Aspiring educators are encouraged to apply at

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Illinois’ ongoing teacher shortage, a crisis further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, has prevented many students from accessing the quality education they deserve. According to a report by the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents, 88% of school districts statewide reported having a teacher shortage problem in 2021, up from 77% in 2020. The effects of the teacher shortage crisis are felt most strongly in urban and rural areas, where schools are experiencing overcrowded classrooms, teacher burnout and a lack of educators in crucial areas such as STEM, special and bilingual education.

“Each year, when applications for our Accelerators program are open, there is an immense feeling of excitement and hope,” said Alan Mather, President of Golden Apple. “The importance of having enthusiastic, dedicated and well-prepared teachers leading classrooms in their own communities cannot be overstated. We are eager to welcome the next cohort of Golden Apple Accelerators into our program and ultimately into classrooms of need, and we invite everyone with a desire to make a difference through teaching to apply for the program.”

The Accelerators program is a 15-month teacher residency and licensure program that expedites the preparation of highly-effective teachers in areas-of-need throughout the state. Geared toward career changers with a bachelor’s degree, Accelerators participants take courses at a partner university, receive instruction from established educators, and work with mentors who provide ongoing support throughout the school year. Accelerators also receive a value of up to $25,000 for education, the majority of which will be paid directly to the institution of higher education.

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Golden Apple is also currently accepting applications for its Scholars program which focuses on teacher preparation and tuition assistance for high school seniors as well as freshman and sophomore college students in Illinois who have the determination and drive to teach. Scholars recieve up to $23,000 in total financial assistance, extensive classroom teaching experience, academic and social-emotional support, job placement assistance and mentoring from Golden Apple’s award-winning teaching faculty. Throughout the history of the program, 53% of Golden Apple Scholars have been Scholars of color and 97% of Scholars find employment within 90 days of graduation. Applications to the Scholars program will be accepted through April 1, 2023.

To learn more and apply for either the Accelerators or Scholars program, interested parties can visit and


About Golden Apple

Golden Apple’s mission is to inspire, develop and support teacher and school leader excellence, especially in schools-of-need. Our leading-edge preparation delivers exceptional teachers who make a positive and sustained impact. We help students thrive in the classroom and in life. Since our beginning, we have recognized master educators annually; and, these master educators prepare the future generation of teachers. Our vision is one in which every classroom has a great teacher and to realize this, we are committed to making a material difference in resolving the teacher shortage. Visit for more information.

Read More:

May 23, 2021 | Golden Apple Hosts Virtual Roundtable Discussion Of Illinois' Teacher Shortage Crisis, Highlights Importance Of Solutions

Dec 9, 2019 | Sen. Manar to Kick Off Golden Apple Program to Tackle State's Teacher Shortage Crisis

May 11, 2021 | Golden Day At Lovejoy School: Music Teacher Zebulon Holder Gets Apple Award For Excellence Surprise

Aug 26, 2020 | Difference Maker: Dr. Jeannine Butler's Innovative Approach Helps Her Capture Golden Apple Honor For Teaching Excellence

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