(WHTM) — A new Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) program offers career and technical schools a curriculum to train students to become teachers. The PDE said this is just part of its workforce development plan to address teacher shortages and put future educators on that path early.
“We’re just trying to use all the resources at our disposal,” said Communications Director Casey Smith.
PDE is trying to address the statewide problem of not having enough teachers.
“About 10 years ago, Pennsylvania added about 20,000 new teachers to the workforce each year. These days, that number is like about 6,000,” says Smith.
The department created a workforce strategy and began rolling it out in the summer of 2022. Part of that plan, Smith said, is targeting career his schools and technical schools to reach younger generations* of future educators.
“This will not only make these CTE pathways accessible to more students, but also give them the opportunity to become teachers,” she said.
The department has approved a curriculum that can be used by career and technical schools statewide. By implementing that curriculum, schools can get more money.
“It complies with federal standards, so the school can now get federal funding,” says Smith.
Smith said completing the program does not mean that students will immediately qualify as teachers.
“When students graduate from this program they receive some sort of qualification, perhaps a micro-qualification or certificate,” she explained.
That qualification gives them the qualifications they need to advance their education.
“It could be a community college or a four-year institution where you get a four-year degree,” says Smith.
The department hopes that this will stimulate student interest and increase future teachers.
“Being an educator is a noble career, a worthy career, and one you should pursue,” said Smith.
Interested vocational schools and vocational schools can apply PDE websiteSchools can implement this program as early as the following school year.
https://www.wtaj.com/news/regional-news/career-and-technical-schools-able-to-train-teachers/ Career and vocational schools that can train teachers