San Diego Partnership Targets Teacher Shortage
Teacher shortages are still widespread in California, and a report from the Learning Policy Institute said access to qualified teachers is growing worse in many communities.
In response, National University has launched a coordinated effort with the San Diego Unified School District and community colleges to address the shortage in the areas of the county that have the greatest need for teachers.
The most critical need, to attract and keep qualified teachers, is found in socio-economically challenged areas of San Diego County.
National University’s new initiative, the Teacher Pathway Inclusion Program, is designed to recruit students from the kind of communities they’re trying to benefit.
“The highest achieving students from these communities are tending to go into other disciplines and we need them to go into education, and then make a commitment to go back to their communities,” said David Andrews, president of National University.
“Not just to be great teachers, but to be community leaders and great role models for the students in those schools,” he said.
First piloted by San Diego’s Gompers Preparatory Academy, the program also addresses the need for access to teachers from diverse backgrounds.
“It’s very exciting and very important that students, young students in urban communities and socio-economically challenged communities, are able to see and experience teachers who came from the same background that they came from — and that they can relate to culturally,” Andrews said.
The program aims to prepare teachers to enter classrooms by streamlining a pathway to their education. Students can earn their associate’s degrees from participating community colleges then earn their bachelor’s and teaching credentials from National University’s Sanford College of Education at little to no cost.