The Landscape of “Grow Your Own” Teacher Initiatives in the United States

By Danielle Sanderson Edwards and Matthew A. Kraft.

Last Updated: October 2023

Download working paper here

Presented at the 2023 Association for Education Finance and Policy Conference. Download conference presentation here


“Grow Your Own” (GYO) programs, which recruit and support individuals from the local community to become teachers, have emerged as a promising approach to expand new teacher supply, address localized teacher shortages, and diversify the profession. Little is known about how widespread GYO programs are or their program features. We conduct a quantitative content analysis to describe the commonalities and differences in stated goals, participants, requirements, and program features across 94 GYO initiatives. We find that GYO initiatives vary widely in the purposes, participants, and programming. Our findings illustrate that the term GYO is applied broadly and used imprecisely as an umbrella term to describe very different teacher pipeline programs. We also classify GYO programs by participants and programming to give more precision to future discussions of GYO programs.


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