Some students at Western Kentucky University are preparing to spend more than their collegiate days in the classroom because they want to spend their careers as teachers.
As baby boomers reach the retirement age, colleges across Kentucky are anticipating what will happen to the number of teachers.
Western's always looking for teachers and offer several programs to attract a wide variety of potential teachers.
Dr. Retta Poe, the Associate Dean for the College of Education, says in our area there are shortages in math, science, foreign language, and special education.
Dr. Poe says many times if people are interested in pursing those subjects they choose to go into another field that doesn't include education.
She says: "Many times people in math and science, people who have a bachelors degree in math and science are able to get jobs in private industry that pay substantially better than public school teachers make."
However, if professionals decide later that they do want to get into the classroom there are options.
Poe says: "They can come into our master program, Masters of Arts in Education. In this alternative route program, and as part of getting a Masters Degree in Education, they also get their teachers certification."
Western also works with KCTCS if students want to transfer their work to Western and with on-line courses to reach more remote areas.
The school also has a minority teaching recruitment program. Poe says that is "with the idea that everybody benefits by having more diversity in our schools and we need diversity among all of professional educators to go along with the diversity we have in the population of children."
Both chambers of the General Assembly have included teacher pay raises as part of their proposed budgets.
Poe says if there is a raise in the final budget universities will have an easier time recruiting potential teachers.
For more information about Western's College of Education, you can log onto edtech.wku.edu/programs/courses_cebs.html.