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Fewer Enrolling in Teacher Preparation Programs

Fewer Enrolling in Teacher Preparation Programs

Not as many students are enrolling in teacher preparation programs in recent years compared to past years. While a definitive cause for the drop is not known, some experts point to district budget issues, a climate of high stakes standardized testing and other professional challenges which may have been driving people away from teaching, according to a recent EducationWeek article.

California has seen the largest drop in enrollments. EdWeek reported that the state lost "22,000 teacher-prep enrollments, or 53 percent, between 2008-09 and 2012-13" according to the Annual Report Card on California Teacher Preparation Programs.

Though the decline is probably due to a multitude of factors, the reason topping many analysts' list is the budget crunch that hit the nation in 2008. In California, [Mary Vixie Sandy, the executive director of the California Commission on Teaching Credentials] believes that the state's layoffs of some 30,000 teachers during the Great Recession sent a clear message to potential candidates that the profession was no longer a reliable one.

Nationwide, enrollments in university teacher-preparation programs have fallen by about 10 percent from 2004 to 2012, according to federal estimates from the U.S. Department of Education's postsecondary data collection.

Some states, such as North Carolina, are starting to offer incentives to potential education students and nationwide there are still far more students enrolling to become elementary school teachers than to become teachers at other levels. It will be interesting to see how this trend plays out in the next few years.

Read the full article that includes infographics.

Corrie Kerr, EducationWorld Editor

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