Troy University combating state’s teacher shortage

Troy University combating state’s teacher shortage
Troy University’s College of Education is working to combat the nationwide teacher shortage by implementing a teacher residency program. (Source: Carlson, Morgan)

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Troy University’s College of Education is working to combat the nationwide teacher shortage by implementing a teacher residency program.

“We are experiencing a teacher shortage, not only in the state, but across the nation as well," said Troy University College of Education Department Chair Dr. Ruth Busby.

According to Busby, 50 percent of teachers leave the profession within their first five years of teaching, "particularly if they are in high-poverty, high-needs types of school systems.”

Busby said she believes teachers are leaving the profession because they are “unprepared.”

“Many of our first-year graduates go into schools that are in high-poverty areas, and they are woefully unprepared to deal with the complexities they face in those types of situations," Busby said.

Being the department chair, Busby wants to make sure her students are prepared to enter the work force.

“Currently, for clinical experiences, our students go into schools and they do a few hours here and there, but we want them to begin the school year with one school, and end the school year with the same school," Busby said.

So, the College of Education came up with a plan to make that happen.

“A teacher residency model makes them a resident in the school system," said Busby. “We are wanting our students to become residents in the schools, rather than just visitors.”

Troy University’s Teacher Residency Program would be the first of its kind in the state.

“We would be the first in the state of Alabama to implement the model, if we get it funded," Busby said.

Currently, the College of Education has applied for two grants that would help implement the teacher residency program into the school. While Busby would not name the grants applied for, she said she’s confident they will receive them.

“We hope to get the funding and to roll out the program in a way that we think will be highly successful. If we do not receive funding for those proposals, we’re going to have to revise our model," Busby said.

If the college does obtain the grants, the teacher residency program would go into effect this upcoming fall.

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