Governors State University's Paraprofessional to Teacher program is a community based grow-your-own teacher initiative to address teacher shortages, retention issues, and teacher diversity by engaging in a variety of strategies that aim to recruit teachers from local schools to increase diversity and retention.

We partner with school districts through a signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to allow you as paraprofessionals/teachers assistants (Paras) to earn a degree and Professional Educator Licensure while keeping your job as a Para with the support of a Mentor. The MOU agreement with your school allows you to complete job-embedded field experiences and student teaching while continuing your employment at that school. You can still join the program without a signed MOU; however, you are required to complete traditional field experiences and student teaching at your school site.

Apply Now Request Info
Student watching virtual information session

Information Session


Want to learn more about our Paraprofessional to Teacher program? Watch our Information Session by clicking the button below. This Information Session will answer many questions that you may have about the purpose, process, and outcome of this initiative.

Watch Information Session
Teacher high-fiving student

Select Your Teacher Preparation Program


We offer teacher preparation programs specifically for paras with a cohort delivery model built around your working schedule.



Early Childhood B. A. (incumbent workforce)

Evenings and remotely

Early Childhood M. A

Hybrid (evenings, online)

Elementary B.A.

Hybrid (evenings, online)

Secondary Education B.A. and Post B.A. (Bio, Chem, Eng, Math, Soc Sci)


Special Education M.A


Grad cap, money, and FAFSA

Financial Support


Governors State University offers many ways to help students pay their tuition. Check out the lists below to see which financial support opportunities are available for you.

All Students

Undergraduate Students

Minority Students

Student filling out application

Getting Started


Ready to begin? Complete the following steps to start your path towards becoming a teacher at GSU:

  • 1. Complete your application to GSU, select your preferred program, and submit the following documentation:

    • • Transcripts

    • • Resume

    • • Signed MOU

    • • Any additional supplemental documents

  • 2. Once accepted, contact your designated advisor to review your transcripts and academic plan.

  • 3. Remember to complete your FASFA to determine your financial aid eligibility, as well as apply for any available scholarship.

For any questions regarding MOUs, please contact Dr. Joi Patterson at jpatterson3@govst.edu.