ST. CLOUD -- A new program was held this summer for high school students interested in pursuing careers in teaching.

The St. Cloud Area School District teamed up with St. Cloud State University to provide 12 students with the unique opportunity to spend a week living on campus and learning about the education field.

Dr. Jennifer Mueller is the Dean of the School of Education at St. Cloud State. She says the Future Teacher Academy was geared toward students who are underrepresented in teacher demographics.

We're really trying to help support students who might have an interest in education because of the teacher shortage that we are experiencing right now, and particularly contributing to having our teacher workforce reflect the students that they will be working with.

Each of the students who participated received three college credits, 10 field experience hours, a $125 stipend, and the promise that when they complete their teaching degree from a college or university, there will be plenty of job opportunities awaiting them in the district.

The funding for the program came in the form of a $75,000 Grow Your Own grant from the Minnesota Department of Education. Mueller says they plan on applying again in the next grant cycle.