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A Journey of Significance: UNC Colleges of Education, the Time to Act Is Now

Grant HayesIn 2017-18, North Carolina reported 1,618 teacher vacancies. Those represented classrooms that were without a teacher at worst or were without a properly trained teacher at best. At the same time, enrollment in the UNC system’s schools of education has dropped 30% since 2010.

Across the country, teacher shortages are affecting public education. In Oklahoma, the state has issued 3,000 emergency teacher certifications which allow people to begin teaching without education coursework, classroom experience or passing state certification exams. Data collected by the Oklahoma Association of Colleges for Teacher Education shows that emergency-certified teachers are rated lower and leave teaching at a higher rate. We do not want to see this troubling trend happen in North Carolina.

UNC system teacher graduates make up the bulk (37%) of teachers in N.C. public schools. UNC system teacher graduates are more likely to return in years 2-5, showing a commitment to the public schools of N.C. And UNC system science and math teacher graduates outperform teachers prepared in other ways.

In the coming months the East Carolina University College of Education will continue to showcase how we prepare our graduates to be the best in their chosen fields

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