Thursday, May 24, 2018

Local educators work to end teacher shortage

The national teacher shortage continues to hit Illinois hard.

Right now there are 1,000 open positions statewide and 20 of those vacancies are in Sangamon County.

“I've seen more vacancies for teaching positions than I have in the 23 years I’ve been in education," said Regional Superintendent Jeff Vose, with the regional Office of Education for Sangamon and Menard Counties.

Vose had enough, so he called Dr. Scott Doerr, the superintendent in Nokomis, who offers a dual-credit class for his students and asked him to help bring an education dual-credit program to the University of Illinois in Springfield.

"My goal here was to take our local students and bring them back to our communities,” said Dr. Scott Doerr, the superintendent in Nokomis.

For the first time, this fall, UIS is offering a dual-credit course for the teaching program. Students will get credit on the high school level, as well as college credit in education.

The goal is to get more people interested in becoming an educator. "They also can get experience with teachers to see what good teachers do and to see how excited teachers still are about teaching kids," explained Dr. Cindy Wilson, the Chair of the Teacher Education Program for UIS.

Right now, 20 students are enrolled. The course starts at the end of August and goes until December. If more students show interest, they'll offer another course in the spring.

This story aired on WICS Newschannel 20 on May 21, 2018.

Watch the story online.