Retired Col. Vanessa D. Barron, a 31-year veteran of the United States Army and 1978 Niagara University graduate, will return to her alma mater Oct. 4 to speak about the federally-funded Troops to Teachers program.
Troops to Teachers (TTT) is a national program designed to transition eligible military personnel to a new career as teachers in targeted public schools across the country.
The free, public presentation takes place at 3 p.m. in the Multi-purpose Room of NU’s Gallagher Center. All current and prospective students are invited to attend, especially those considering education as a major.
Financial assistance may be provided through the program to eligible individuals as stipends up to $5,000 to help pay for teacher certification costs or as bonuses of $10,000 to teach in schools serving a high percentage of students from low income families. Participants who accept the stipend or bonus must agree to teach for three years in targeted schools in accordance with the authorizing legislation.
“Troops to Teachers is a very valuable opportunity for veterans and school districts,” attests Col. Barron, the TTT program manager for New York and Pennsylvania. “These teachers not only are prepared in terms of the curriculum, they also bring structure, leadership and cultural sensitivity to the classroom.
“Veterans serve as strong role models for their students and can help alleviate the shortage of qualified teachers in math, science, special education and other critical subject areas.”
Troops to Teachers was established in 1994 as a Department of Defense program. The National Defense Authorization Act transferred the responsibility for program oversight and funding to the U.S. Department of Education in 2000 but continued operation by the Department of Defense. TTT is managed by DANTES, an education initiative to support the armed forces.
Shortly after earning a degree in transportation from NU, Col. Barron received her Army commission from the university’s ROTC program. She has since served the nation in times of both war and peace, having been mobilized and deployed overseas three separate times.
Col. Barron has also graduated from the U.S. Army Transportation, Adjutant General, and Civil Affairs branch qualification courses and the United States Army Command and General Staff College. She also possesses a master’s degree in education from Cabrini College.