Golden Apple is now accepting applications for both its Accelerators and Scholars programs in Illinois. Golden Apple, a nonprofit committed to preparing, supporting and mentoring aspiring teachers, is looking to fill vital teaching positions statewide through these programs while providing a way for future educators to enter the profession.


The Accelerators program is a 15-month teacher residency and licensure program that accelerates the training of highly effective teachers in high need areas throughout the state, especially in southern, central and western Illinois. Aimed at career changers with bachelor’s degrees and current college students who aren’t planning to become teachers, Accelerators participants take courses at partner universities, receive instruction from established educators and work with mentors who provide ongoing support throughout the school year. Accelerators also receive a stipend of up to $25,000 to apply to coursework and living expenses.

The Scholars program focuses on teacher preparation and tuition assistance for high school seniors, as well as freshman and sophomore college students in the state who want to enter the teaching profession. Scholars receive 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 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.

According to a recent report by the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents, 88% of school districts statewide reported having a teacher shortage in 2021, up from 77% in 2020. The shortage is felt most strongly in urban and rural areas, where schools are dealing with overcrowded classrooms, teacher burnout and a lack of educators in essential areas like STEM, special and bilingual education.

“The opening of our Accelerators and Scholars program applications is always an exciting and meaningful time at our organization,” said Alan Mather, president of Golden Apple. “As we continue to feel the effects of Illinois’ teacher shortage, we are reminded of the enduring impact a good teacher has on their students’ lives. Now more than ever, we must uplift the teaching profession and support next generation educators so every student in Illinois may feel that impact.”

To learn more about the Accelerators program and to apply, click here. To learn more about the Scholars program and to apply, click here. The deadline for the Golden Apple Accelerators program is January 3, 2023. The deadline for the Golden Apple Scholars program is April 1, 2023.