By: Mabel Myers
Throughout the United States, there has been an increasing teacher shortage. Before the pandemic, teachers were already starting to leave the profession more than ever before. Universities around the country, including Indiana University, are working to combat this shortage.
“As the state’s flagship university, we have a responsibility to help address the shortage of preschool to 12th-grade teachers. IU is working closely with school districts across the state to support their needs for qualified teachers in Indiana classrooms,” said Pamela Whitten, President of Indiana University.
One of the ways that Indiana University is trying to improve the shortage is by offering a variety of licensure programs at all campuses. Here at IU South Bend, the School of Education offers undergraduate degrees in elementary education, secondary education and special education. IU South Bend is also offering a Secondary Transition to Teaching program starting in May, in addition to a Master of Arts in Teaching Special Education.
“The advantage for transition to teaching is that individuals who knew that they had a calling to be teachers but for whatever reason during their undergraduate career didn’t or couldn’t pursue it,” said Hope Smith Davis, Dean of the School of Education.
This program is great for those who decided too late into their undergraduate career that they wanted to pursue a teaching career. The Secondary Transition to Teaching program is an 18 credit hour program to gain the license.
“We have a lot of folks who are reevaluating their role in society and their contributions and want to do more than just get a paycheck, so the T to T program allows folks often who are hired on an emergency permit to teach and get their license at the same time. This also gives more consistency in the K-12 classrooms. The shortage is in specific areas, but five years ago those majoring in popular areas like English or social studies would have an issue finding a job. Today I have principals calling once a week stating they need a teacher in a specific area,” said Davis.
This licensure will take one calendar year to complete. This is an accelerated program with a mix of online, in-person and hybrid classes. For more information on the program, a Zoom meeting will be held Feb. 1 from 5pm to 6pm. RSVP’s can be sent through Daily Titan or the School of Education’s website. Applications for the program are due on March 15.
“Addressing the need for qualified teachers represents our recognition that we must do our part to strengthen our state and improve lives across Indiana,” said Whitten.
While offering the licensure programs through IU South Bend, the university is also involved with local schools to help teachers. During the last three years, the IU South Bend School of Education has partnered with the Elkhart Community School Corporation to help with the shortage of Special Education teachers. During this period, Elkhart has hired teachers on emergency permits while they are taking classes in mild and moderate disabilities.
IU South Bend has also partnered with South Bend Community School Corporation and Bremen Public Schools. In Bremen, the School of Education has been able to offer teachers coursework to earn a designation of English as a New Language of Record. This was to help meet the increasing need in the area to better serve students coming from a variety of backgrounds.
“In Fall 2020, the School of Education at IU South Bend partnered with the South Bend Community School Corporation on a $5.5 million, 5-year Teacher Quality Partnership grant that provides induction, mentoring, and additional supports for new teachers in a year-long residency program that includes coursework in STEM, English as a New Language, and Urban Education, leading to a Master’s Degree upon successful completion of the program. We have had approximately 20 candidates in the program to date,” said Davis.
If you are interested in pursuing a career in teaching contact the Education Advising Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.