Utica College offers program to ease teacher shortage, helping local districts in need

Thousands of baby boomers are set to retire from education around the same time across the country creating a teacher shortage, including in Central New York, but Utica College is offering a program to help fill the need.

Posted: Feb 13, 2019 6:44 PM

UTICA, NY-- Thousands of baby boomers are set to retire from education around the same time across the country creating a teacher shortage, including in Central New York, but Utica College is offering a program to help fill the need.

"New York State is now an extremely high demand low supply so the Transition B Program is helping to fill that gap," said Richard Moon, P-12 liasion and coordinator of student teaching at Utica College.

The Teacher Certification Program allows aspiring teachers to secure full-time employment in local schools via an alternative pathway to certification, according to the site.

The program is designed for aspiring teachers who hold a bachelor degree in high-need areas, such as, English, French, social studies, Spanish, biology, chemistry, earth science, physics, mathematics or technology. Students who complete a summer course of study and pass required teaching exams will earn the 'Transitional B Certificate' and will then be able to secure a full-time teaching job. Candidates then have up to five years to finish the remaining master's in education coursework under UC mentorship.

The program may prove to be helpful, during a time when more than a third of the state's 270,000 active Teachers' Retirement System members could be eligible to retire within the next five years, according to New York State United Teachers. The number of people enrolling in teacher education programs has also made an impact, with a dramatic drop in five years by about half, from 79,000 students in 2009-10 to 20,000 in 2014-15.

"You actually come into this program take nine credit hours in the summer and then as long as you've completed those course work credits and have also passed two of the three state exams you're eligible to go out into the classroom in the fall," said John Rowe, executive director of graduate admissions at Utica College.

The Whitesboro Central School District is one of the 42 local school districts that partner with the college.

"A lot of our baby boomers are retiring or their reaching the retirement age, " said David Russo, assistant superintendent for the Whitesboro Central School District. "So it is a good time to start working with some of our pre-service teachers who are completing hours and getting to know them and watch them in the classrooms as potential hires."

The deadline to apply for the next cohort is the end of February.

For more information call the office of graduate admissions, 315-792-3010 or visit: www.utica.edu

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