Virginia Higher Education System Joins Forces to Curb Teacher ShortageRICHMOND, Va.
Virginia’s higher education system is joining forces to help ease the projected teacher shortage in the state.
The partnership is a seamless transfer articulation agreement between Virginia’s community colleges and several four-year colleges and universities designed to facilitate admission to teacher-education programs.
Students at Virginia’s community colleges will have the opportunity to pursue a degree specialization designed to prepare students to qualify for admission to teacher education programs leading to bachelor’s and/or master’s degrees in early childhood, elementary, middle school education and selected areas of special education.
Several senior institutions will participate in the program by agreeing to consider guaranteed admission to graduates earning an associate’s degree and passing the PRAXIS I, the teacher licensure test usually taken after about 30 credit hours of coursework.
The institutions participating include George Mason, James Madison, Longwood, Old Dominion, Radford, Virginia Commonwealth, Norfolk State, Mary Baldwin and Virginia Union University.
“A historic turnover is taking place in the teaching profession. While student enrollments are rising rapidly, more than a million veteran teachers nationwide are nearing retirement,” says Virginia Community College System Chancellor Glenn DuBois. “This partnership works aggressively to meet a critical need of the Commonwealth, and exemplifies the type of articulation and partnership that Gov. Warner speaks about in his ‘Education for a Lifetime Initiative,’ ” DuBois says.
The teacher recruitment problem is most acute in urban and rural schools around the country. Experts predict that overall the country will need more than 2 million new teachers nationwide in the next decade.
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