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ASU's Polytechnic campus offers accelerated post-baccalaureate program to tackle teacher shortage crisis in Arizona


April 08, 2002

Arizona State University's Polytechnic campus is tackling the state's teacher shortage crisis with a new, 13-month accelerated program in Elementary Education specifically for post-baccalaureate students.

Designed for students who already hold a bachelor's degree in majors besides education, this advanced program will provide future teachers with hands-on experiences in the classroom and access to quality teaching practices.

"The program provides the educational foundation and the core classes that teachers will need," said Bette Bergeron, head of the education faculty at ASU's Polytechnic campus. "It is set up so the they get the content and experience they need to fulfill the requirements for K-8 Arizona certification. So it's focusing on what you need to know to teach effectively and how children learn."

The program was developed in response to the teacher shortage in the state of Arizona, said Bergeron. Graduates of the program will be state certified and workforce ready in the spring of 2003.

"The current age of teachers is one in which a big chunk of them are ready for retirement," she said, noting that this trend, coupled with the Valley's fast growth rate, is fueling the shortage. Estimates are that Arizona will have a shortage in the area of 27,000 teachers in the next 10 years.

Adults who hold bachelor's degrees, yet who are seeking a different career path are the targeted audience for the new program. With an increasing unemployment rate in the Valley, Bergeron said the program's timing couldn't be more vital. "Folks getting laid off at places like Motorola are wonderful candidates."

Classes begin May 28 and will be held in the afternoon and evening during the summer. Fall and spring classes will be held in the daytime only.

Deadline to apply is May 1. Costs are normal ASU tuition and fees.

The accelerated program is being designed in close collaboration with Williams Community School, a K-8 school located on the ASU's Polytechnic campus campus. Students will receive a range of classroom field experiences at this new neighborhood school, which is part of the Maricopa County Regional School District.

In addition to the accelerated post-baccalaureate program, ASU's Polytechnic campus also offers a bachelor of arts in elementary education. Students can attend classes in the daytime or in the evening through partnerships with the Mesa and Chandler Unified School Districts.

Students interested in the ASU's Polytechnic campus accelerated post-baccalaureate program should contact Bergeron at (480) 727-1303.