BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — Like a lot of people, Latasha Jackson always wanted to be a teacher.
“I started college and wanted to become a teacher,” Jackson said. “However, life happened and I had a baby, and so I had to stop.”
But Jackson’s dream as well as many other cafeteria workers, grounds keepers and bus drivers could still come true as Baldwin County Public Schools introduces Reach University to school employees who want to move to the head of the class.
“Reach University is a job-embedded bachelor degree program that was really designed to meet the efforts of people who have had barriers to accessing higher education to complete that degree so they could get that teacher certification,” Regional Director for School Partnerships with Reach University Amy Griffin said.
Courses are taught online two nights a week at an all-inclusive cost of $75 a month, which is $900 a year.
“900 bucks a year; that’s not bad for out of pocket,” Daphne High School groundskeeper Tony Stinnett said.
“Because they are a non-profit university, they receive donations, and they also received a number of grants, so they are able to keep the costs low and they developed this program specifically for school districts that want to grow their own educators,” Baldwin County Public Schools Human Resources Director Tiffany Wilson said.
One of those “future educators” could be Latasha Jackson.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for us working moms who are trying to follow our dreams, too,” Jackson said.
What has been just out of reach for many working in the school system may now be closer than ever.