Homegrown Teacher Initiative

Undergraduate Students

The Homegrown Teacher Initiative is a pilot program currently for elementary and special education programs. It will expand to secondary level content area licensure programs, with an emphasis on the STEM areas, as Purdue continues to roll out its revised curriculum and in anticipation of two semester/full year student teaching beginning in the fall of 2024. Purdue’s Homegrown Teacher Initiative is funded through the Indiana Department of Education’s Attract, Prepare, Retain (APR) Grant.  The state-wide APR grants are aimed at helping schools and communities strengthen, expand, and diversify the educator pipeline. 

In the pilot Purdue Homegrown Teacher Initiative, the equivalent of the first year of a teacher preparation program is accomplished before full-time campus residency through a combination of dual credit courses, CLEP (College Level Examination Program), and AP (Advanced Placement) credits, online courses, and a five-week summer program on Purdue’s campus. The second two years are accomplished traditionally on Purdue’s campus along with all other teacher education students. The final fourth year is accomplished through a year-long, two-semester student teaching residency in the student’s home community and under the supervision of a mentor teacher who has participated in high-quality professional development on mentoring best practices. Besides bringing students back to their home communities, this plan significantly reduces the cost of college as there are limited to no tuition costs in year one and no housing costs in the first and fourth year.

Program Overview

Year One

While still in high school, earn approximately one year’s worth of relevant college credits through dual credit, CLEP or AP exams, online classes etc.

  • Approximately 33 credits
  • Includes participation in “Early Start” summer program on Purdue campus prior to year two

Years Two and Three

Traditional years on Purdue’s campus in classes with peers

  • Extensive field experiences and coursework
  • Learner Concentration Speciality Addition

Year Four

Year-long, two semester residency in the student’s home community

  • With year-long student teaching, candidates enter the profession as second year teachers
  • More opportunities to practice classroom management and differentiation
Purdue Course(s)# of creditsMet by…
General education (e.g., English, math, history)15Dual credit through Ivy Tech, AP or CLEP
CLEP stands for the College Level Examination Program,
a program that enables students to earn college credit for introductory-level courses by achieving satisfactory scores on subject-specific tests.
Teacher Education courses4 or 5Dual credit through Ivy Tech: Ed Professions I & II (4 credits)
Purdue online* (1 credit)
ElectivesUp to 7Up to 7 elective credits may be applied to student’s Purdue plan of study
Purdue Summer Experience4 or 5Teacher Ed courses (3 credits)
General education course (1 credit)
*Purdue online (1 credit)
TOTALUp to 31*1 credit online literacy course may be taken online during any semester

Savings of over $30,000!

Purdue’s Homegrown Teacher initiative can save a student over $30,000 during a four-year bachelor’s program – if the student lives at home during their senior year while student teaching in their home district.

Steps to Enroll:

  1. Contact program to indicate interest and sign up for communication
  2. Apply to Purdue by Nov 1 (Early Action Deadline) Senior Year
  3. Register for Early Start classes


  • Year 1 (apx. 30 credits)  [during HS]
  • Early Start summer experience
  • Year 2 & 3 (on campus)
  • Year 4 (Two semester residency in the student’s home community)

Students will sign up through their high school counselor.  When students begin the Early Start, they will formally be in the program.

No.  However, assured admission is possible through Purdue’s Fast Start Program. To earn acceptance into Purdue, Indiana students can take the Modern States online courses for free. Those who pass a minimum of five corresponding College Board CLEP exams are assured admission to Purdue and will be designated as Klinsky Scholars. However, the FastStart program does NOT assure admission to the Purdue West Lafayette campus. It may be admission to another Purdue campus.


Laura Cole

Laura Cole

Program Director, Homegrown Teacher Initiative
Attract, Prepare, & Retain Grant


Purdue University College of Education | Homegrown Teacher Initiative.