This article first appears on the Western Michigan University website and is reprinted with permission.
Despite a national trend toward declining enrollment in teacher preparation programs, Western Michigan University’s enrollment is up this year by about 9% in these majors, or 70 more future teachers who have chosen WMU to prepare them to enter the workforce over the last year. The largest increases are seen in early childhood education, special education, and physical and health education teacher preparation majors.
So why are students choosing WMU?
Teacher academy partnerships and credit opportunities. WMU has partnered with districts in Kalamazoo, Van Buren, Calhoun, and Allegan Counties to help high school students explore the teaching profession. Students attend a one-day teacher academy conference at WMU where they receive professional development and engage with WMU faculty and students. Students are invited back to campus for tours and student panels. Through this partnership, WMU may grant college credit for state-approved teacher preparation courses taken at the high school level. Having a connection to the College of Education and Human Development increases the likelihood a student will decide to attend WMU.