Teacher Pipeline Initiatives
The Commonwealth is experiencing a drastic increase in the need for teachers. In 2020-2021, the Commonwealth issued 5,039 new certifications, as opposed to 25,728 in 2012-2013. With the “great resignation” occurring as the result of the Covid pandemic and other factors, teacher preparation programs are not positioned to meet school district needs. Additionally, only 7% of teachers in Pennsylvania are teachers who identify as persons of color, whereas 37% of the Commonwealth students identify as students of color. With there being a plethora of research documenting the positive impact on student learning when there is representation of teachers from diverse backgrounds, this statistic is also concerning. One factor associated with the teacher shortage (as outline by AASPA) is decreased interest in the profession caused by the perception of what it means to be a teacher. This program is intended to increase the number of teacher candidates in the pipeline, as well as the number of candidates from diverse backgrounds by demonstrating a counter-narrative, while giving students direct experiences that lead to a career in teaching. Let’s keep our ‘Eyes on the PRIZE’ and work together to increase the number of students in our teacher preparation programs. Initiatives include preparation in early grades, middle school, secondary, special education, music education, and health and physical education.