Many professionals are taking their expertise and heading back to the classroom.
Mike Hughes, the Transition to Teaching Coordinator, says, "We have engineers, chemists, and individuals that have been out in the workforce, working in a field pertaining to the degree and now are looking to move into the education profession, using that expertise in the classroom."
More prospective teachers are turning to alternative route programs, so they can help mold the minds of the next generation.
According to the state's Education Professional Standards Board, the university route is the most popular.
Under that option there is a grant funded program called Transition to Teaching. Hughes says, "We are able to help school districts in filling critical shortage needs areas."
The program works with 19 school districts to get teachers into high need areas, such as math, science, special education, and English as a Second Language.
Hughes says, "We don't see a lot of individuals going into physics, chemistry, and math moving toward teaching, they're going to other careers."
The prospective teachers are screened at the university and district levels, and for the grant program.
They also have to take the Praxis exam, the exam all teachers in the state have to take to be certified. They also have to attend teacher preparation courses.
Hughes says, "A teacher must have at least a bachelor's degree to be admitted, they must have a 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale, can never have gone through a teacher preparation course."
Since Transition to Teaching is a grant funded program, it helps with the cost of tuition, books, and other fees.
When an individual completes the program, they will have a Masters of Arts degree in Education.
Western Kentucky University also provides an alternative route program that's similar to Transition to Teaching, only the prospective teachers pay to go back to school.
There are a total of seven different methods for how you can receive certification in Kentucky. For a complete list of requirements, log onto http://www.kyepsb.net/certification/certaltroutes.asp
For more information on the Transition to Teaching program, log onto www.grrec.coop.k12ky.us