June 21, 1972.
On this day, IUPUI and Indianapolis Public Schools announced a new Teacher Corps program to train and deploy special-education teams into city schools to address learning disabilities and other problems. Under the plan, five teams of seven interns each led by an experienced teacher would work in selected IPS elementary, middle, and high schools. They would work with school children with learning disabilities and emotional problems that hindered their own learning and that of their classmates.
Once recruited, during July and August the graduate interns would receive intensive training by faculty in the IUPUI Division of Education (later renamed the School of Education) in teaching and counselling. They also were introduced to the neighborhood programs that work with the schools to which they were assigned. In a press statement, Dr. Hardwick W. Harshman, director of special education at IUPUI, said that they recruited graduates without previous teaching experience, but who have strong liberal-arts records in English, psychology, sociology, or the natural sciences. "At the end of two years," he added, "the interns will be qualified for master's degrees in special education and teachers licenses."
The National Teacher Corps was enacted by Congress in 1965 to address educational issues in low-income communities. Universities and colleges with teacher-training programs teamed with school corporations to send recent graduate "interns" into schools under the tutelage of "master teachers." Teacher Corps was one of President Lyndon B. Johnson's "Great Society" programs. It flourished in many urban and rural areas across the country, but was replaced in 1981 by block grants.
To study the School of Education's participation in Teacher Corps projects, check out records in IUPUI Special Collections and Archives. Email staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.