To fill teacher jobs, community colleges offer new degrees – The Associated Press – en Español

by | Oct 6, 2022 | Jobs

In her second-grade classroom outside Seattle, Fatima Nuñez Ardon often tells her students stories about everyday people realizing their dreams. One day, for example, she talked about Salvadoran American NASA astronaut Francisco Rubio and his journey to the International Space Station. Another day, she told them her own life story — how she, an El Salvadoran immigrant who arrived in the U.S. in middle school speaking very little English, came to be a teacher. Nuñez Ardon took an unusual path to the classroom: She earned her teaching degree through evening classes at a community college, while living at home and raising her four children. Community college-based teaching programs like this are rare, but growing. They can dramatically cut the cost and raise the convenience of earning a teaching degree, while making a job in education accessible to a wider diversity of people.In Washington state, nine community colleges offer education degrees for teaching grade school and up. All of the programs started within the last decade. ADVERTISEMENTAround the country, education programs remain far more common at four-year institutions. Six other states — Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Nevada and New Mexico — have community colleges that offer degrees related to K-12 education, according to Community College Baccalaureate Association data. The expansion comes at a good time: Teacher shortages have worsened in the past decade, and fewer undergraduates are going into teacher training programs. The number of people completing a teacher-education program declined by almost a third between the 2008-09 and 2018-19 academic years, according to a report in March from the American A …

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