Exactly two months to the day after President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 with $125 billion carved out for education, Mursion will host Jacqueline Rodriguez, vice president for research, policy, & advocacy at the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), for a candid discussion on the challenges and opportunities ahead. From her unique perspective, Rodriguez will share AACTE’s continuing important work for addressing learning loss, critical societal matters that affect education, and the shortage of teachers that has not abated.
In the following article, David A. Fuentes and Amy Ginsberg of the College of Education at William Paterson, a member of AACTE’s Network Improvement Community (NIC) Black and Hispanic/Latino Male Teacher Initiative, take a deep dive into their efforts to increase dual enrollment opportunities as a preemptive recruitment strategy. They provide insight into how network improvement science can be used to identify levers within education preparation program systems that can improve recruitment and retention of diverse teacher candidates.
To learn more about NIC members’ initiatives to recruit and retain Black and Latina males, watch the Building Recruitment Pathways, a segment of AACTE’s new NIC video case studies series.
Building and Sustaining Recruitment Pathways for Black and Latino Male Teachers
In 2014, our College of Education at William Paterson University, a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) and Minority Serving Institution (MSI), located in the greater New York City area, was selected as one of ten universities to participate in the AACTE Network Improvement Community (NIC), aimed at increasing the number of Black and Latino/Hispanic male teachers (BLMs). Since that time, we have been engaged in iterative cycles of plan-do-study-act (PDSA). This systematic research first led to our becoming NIC mindful and then to several structural changes in our College of Education that make our efforts aimed at teacher diversification more possible today in both theory and practice. We have uncovered, implemented, and tested the efficacy of several structural changes at our institution targeting key drivers, recruitment and retention, while implementing new structures based on network improvement science and our desire and commitment to diversify our teacher candidate pool.
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AACTE President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone and Daniel A. Domenech, executive director of AASA, The School Superintendents Association, authored this article that originally appeared in the District Administration and is reprinted with permission.
Our nation’s education ecosystem is complex and multifaceted. When one component of the ecosystem is impacted, it creates a ripple effect that is felt throughout the entire system. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic created a tidal wave of uncertainties, resulting in budget cuts, teacher shortages, and remote learning challenges.
An ongoing concern for school districts, teacher shortages have now become more severe. Teachers are leaving the profession at an accelerated rate, due primarily to health concerns and budget furloughs, and forcing superintendents to close schools not because of infection, but due to a lack of personnel to keep them open. The shortage also expands beyond teachers. It includes bus drivers, cafeteria workers, custodians, and essential support staff. Such reductions, caused by budget cuts resulting from the pandemic, are having a crippling effect upon school districts, and increased operational costs are eroding critical funds necessary to hire the staff desperately needed for in-school instruction.
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) is among the top universities to produce the largest number of teachers in Texas, and has among the highest retention rates, according to the 2020 Performance Analysis for Colleges of Education (PACE) study.
The study’s results are from research generated at the University of Houston’s Center for Research, Evaluation, & Advancement of Teacher Education (CREATE).
“Retention of novice teachers in the profession is a very important measure of success for teacher preparation programs given the huge numbers of teachers that leave the profession every year contributing to the tremendous teacher shortage in the state,” said Alma Rodriguez, dean of the UTRGV College of Education and P-16 Integration.
The PACE report also shows that graduates from the UTRGV teacher preparation program have a 91%, 5-year retention rate in the teaching profession. The rate was calculated through a five-year study (from 2015 to 2019) of first-year teachers who graduated from the different educator preparation programs in the state of Texas.
Findings show that in the public school system nationwide, only 7% of teachers, 11% of principals, and 3% of superintendents are Black. In the following Yahoo Finance Live video interview, AACTE Dean in Residence Leslie Fenwick explores this topic. She discusses the impact desegregation of public schools has had on the decline of the Black teacher pipeline and what steps should be taken to reverse the trend.
Watch the video.
The American Association for Employment in Education (AAEE) is requesting AACTE members’ participation in the 2020-2021 Educator Supply and Demand Survey, conducted in conjunction with the Center for Marketing & Opinion Research, LLC (CMOR). Both AAEE members and non-members are invited and encouraged to participate.
With data and perceptions gathered from colleges, universities, and school systems over several decades, the report generated will provide you and your institution with valuable regional and national insights and trends in PK-12 educator supply and demand. An electronic version of this report will be provided to all respondents in Spring 2021 at no cost.
Completion of the survey should take about 15 minutes and all responses will remain confidential.
Preview questions (in PDF format) prior to survey completion.
College or University? Complete this survey.
School District? Complete this survey.
The University of Maryland, Prince George’s Community College and Prince George’s County Public Schools announced a dual enrollment program to increase the teaching workforce in the state.
The Middle College Program enables high schoolers from county schools to earn an associate of arts degree in teaching while completing their high school requirements. Dual enrollment students can then transfer seamlessly into the UMD College of Education’s undergraduate teaching program; the program also aligns with Bowie State University and Howard University’s academic requirements.
“The collaboration is a reflection of our commitment to developing innovative new pathways to prepare an excellent and diverse teacher workforce for Prince George’s County Public Schools and for the state of Maryland,” said Jennifer King Rice, dean of the College of Education. “This model of ‘growing your own’ teachers will increase diversity in the education field, develop teachers from the local community and address critical teaching shortages.”
This article originally appeared in District Administration and is reprinted with permission.
The teacher shortage is real, complex, and concerning—especially in high-demand specialty areas such as special education, math and science, English as a second language, and foreign language. This comes as no surprise, as many reports indicate low enrollment in these educator preparation program (EPP) teaching areas. While it is important to reflect upon the current state of the teacher shortage, it is imperative that EPPs analyze changes in student enrollment to determine future implications for the teacher workforce.
The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) recently released the issue brief, Degree Trends in High-Demand Teaching Specialties. Authored by Jacqueline E. King, Ph.D., the report examines trends in sub-specialties within the high-demand areas based on data that colleges report to the U.S. Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). While the report offers a few bright spots, it suggests that current PK-12 school shortages will not be remedied simply by hiring newly-prepared teachers.
The national teacher shortage has required all stakeholders to take action. What do we know and what can we do? The Annual Meeting “Addressing the Teacher Shortage” Deeper Dive session brought together a panel of experts to discuss the alarming data on and present strategies to combat this epidemic. The panel consisted of AACTE consultants Jacqueline King and Jane West; Zeke Perez, policy analyst, Education Commission of the States; and AACTE board member Marquita Grenot-Scheyer from the Office of the Chancellor at the California State University System.
Jacqueline Rodriguez, vice president, program and professional learning at AACTE, served as the moderator. She began the session by providing a national overview as it relates to the teacher shortage by highlighting, “As a Nation, we have …
- A decline in enrollment in teacher preparation programs;
- Significant lack of diversity in our educators: race, ethnicity, gender, identity, disability;
- High poverty schools which experience disproportionate teacher shortages;
- Schools with high enrollment of students of color more likely to employ uncertified teachers; and
- Teacher turnover at a significant high financial cost.
Julie Conner, a teacher at the Virginia School for the Visually Impaired, works with a female student with vision impairment.
This article originally appeared on the George Mason University website and is reprinted with permission.
The United States is in desperate need of educators who can read and teach braille, according to the National Federation of the Blind (NFB). Less than 10% of the 1.3 million people who are legally blind in the U.S. are able to read braille, according to a 2009 report by the NFB.
But few U.S. colleges offer programs that prepare teachers to educate students who are visually impaired, according to Kimberly Avila, professor-in-charge of the teacher preparation program in blindness and vision impairment within the College of Education and Human Development. Avila is also the coordinator for the Virginia Consortium for Teacher Preparation in Vision Impairment.
Will provide scholarships up to $4,800 to help teacher assistants earn teaching degrees
WGU North Carolina, an affiliate of the national online Western Governors University, has signed an agreement with Rowan-Salisbury School System (RSS) to help classified staff, such as teacher assistants, advance their careers by earning bachelor’s degrees and teacher certifications.
Any Rowan-Salisbury School System teacher assistant who enrolls in one of WGU North Carolina’s teacher-preparation programs will receive up to $800 in tuition credit per six-month term, after any Pell Grants have been exhausted, for up to three years. RSS employees will also receive an application-fee waiver code.
Additionally, WGU North Carolina will create a unique URL for RSS employees and promote this opportunity through printed materials, social media, on-site presentations and other channels. Employees will also have access to WGU career services resources and events, and WGU NC staff will be available to participate in any education/benefits fairs, seminars, and “lunch and learn” presentations offered by Rowan-Salisbury Schools.
Throughout the United States, schools are facing a critical shortage of special education teachers. This crisis is growing due to an emerging demand for special education teachers, coupled with a diminishing number of qualified candidates, recruitment challenges, and a high turnover rate. Reversing this crisis requires a multiprong approach that includes short- and long-term strategies to prepare and support teachers. Special education is complex, and one common type of instruction does not support all disabilities. To promote equity in education, we must ensure students with disabilities have access to proper assessment, resources, and qualified educators that correspond with their needs.
This article originally appeared in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette and the excerpt below is reprinted with permission.
A recent three-year drop in the number of people enrolled in Arkansas teacher preparation programs appears to have bottomed out, and the number is on the upswing, preliminary data from the Arkansas Division of Elementary and Secondary Education show.
The number of enrollees in the state’s teacher preparation programs for 2018-19 was 4,443.
This article originally appeared in Bowling Green Daily News and is reprinted with permission.
A federal grant award topping $1 million to Western Kentucky University will help address a shortage of special education professionals seen regionally and across Kentucky.
“The shortages are felt nationally, but definitely in an acute manner in our rural communities,” said WKU College of Education and Behavioral Sciences Dean Corinne Murphy, whose college is heading up the effort called Project PREP, or Preparing Rural Educators and Professionals for Students with High-Intensity Needs.
The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education said there’s a shortage and a lack of diversity of fully prepared and credentialed special education teachers in public schools across the country.
In an article that originally appeared in Special Ed Connection, author Kara Arundel spotlights AACTE’s collaboration with the CEEDAR Center in launching the Reducing the Shortage of Special Education Teachers Networked Improvement Community (NIC). As part of the NIC initiative, 10 preparation programs in higher education have been selected to participate in this NIC and implement a range of strategies that will positively impact the special education teacher shortage by the Fall of 2022.
Cleveland State University (CSU) is one of the universities featured in the article, along with its Associate Dean for Faculty and External Affairs Tachelle Banks. AACTE’s Caitlin Wilson commented on how CSU and the nine other institutions will help find solutions to the nationwide teacher shortage. “By better understanding what works in particular context and comparing how it is similar or different at another university helps us to learn and share with the filed how that particular strategy or promising practice might be adapted depending on local conditions,” said Wilson, the director of program improvement and practice.
Read the full article, “Network of Universities Collaborate to Solve Special Educator Shortages.“