EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — A new partnership is helping to staff schools in response to the statewide teacher shortage.

East Hartford Public Schools is teaming up with the state and the University of Saint Joseph. College students at USJ will have the opportunity to work at East Hartford Schools to gain hands-on experience.

Education leaders say they believe this program will benefit everyone involved.

“To bring highly motivated college students seeking education degrees into classrooms to get experience, to erase pressures on our current teachers and address shortages,” Connecticut State Department of Education Commissioner Charlene Russell-Tucker said.

The partnership will include advancement and growth opportunities for current teachers as well.