North Carolina universities plan new CBE program for educators without certification
- Two higher ed institutions in the University of North Carolina system have partnered to help develop a new path to certification for thousands of teachers. The program will target lateral entry teachers, who are educators with knowledge in a specific subject but lack a teaching license or certificate.
- The state employs more than 4,000 lateral entry teachers, but it also has an attrition rate 79% higher than other states. The new program will enable enrollees to remain employed while working towards certification in online courses.
- The schools expect to begin a pilot program this fall with 80 lateral entry educators, continuing in the following semester, and the schools hope to reach as many as 5,000 students. The new CBE program is the first of its kind in the region.
National initiatives like President Barack Obama's 100kin10 program (which strives to get 100,000 new STEM teachers hired by 2021) are tackling the issue of recruiting new teachers specific to the STEM disciplines. And more regional efforts, like Philadelphia's 1000x2025 initiative, which is seeking to double the number of black male educators in the city by 2025, are stepping up to fill local gaps. In a similar way, North Carolina's approach to expedite the introduction of individuals from outside fields into the classroom could be one way to attract potential teachers with STEM backgrounds who did not take a conventional academic path to teaching. However, the process towards certification must be straightforward and cost-effective in order to maintain strong interest from teacher candidates.
College and university leaders who would like to attract more students into the field of education could advocate for more uniformity and clarity in what kind of certification is necessary. However, the investment in properly educating these potential teachers on the front-end, through socially responsible pedagogy as well as a proper credentialing process, can't be compromised.
Auutmn A. Arnett contributed to this post.