SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — Two programs to help more Illinoisans become teachers are now taking applications.

The Golden Apple Foundation has announced they are opening up its applications for its Accelerators and Scholars programs to ensure more people are trained to be teachers.

The Accelerators program helps college seniors or people with bachelor’s degree not in education prepare to be a teacher with a 15-month residency program, while the Scholars program provides scholarships to high school seniors, college freshman and college sophomores studying to be teachers. Both programs require grantees to teach at a partnered school in Illinois after completion of the grant.

The Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents found that 88% of superintendents surveyed reported their districts had encountered a teacher shortage. They also found that 77% of superintendents believed the teacher shortage was getting worse.

“As we continue to feel the effects of Illinois’ teacher shortage, we are reminded of the enduring impact a good teacher has on their students’ lives.” Alan Mather, Golden Apple’s president, said. “Now more than ever, we must uplift the teaching profession and support next generation educators so every student in Illinois may feel that impact.”

You can learn more about the Accelerators and Scholars programs as well as fill out an application on their website.