Teacher shortage sparks new 3 year education degrees at Concordia University

MACWON, Scream. – One local university is offering a new program to try to make up for the shortage of teachers in Wisconsin.

Madeline McKinstra is studying to be a teacher. She is gaining hands-on experience at St. John’s Lutheran School in her hometown of West Bend.

“I wanted to be a teacher mostly because of my kids,” McKinstrey said. “At first it was the main reason because I love teaching them.”

McKinstra has two children and one on the road. She works full time and her husband also attends school. Matching a degree seemed impossible until she started a new program at Concordia University in Mekuon.

Concordia recently received permission from the state’s Department of Public Education to pursue a three-year bachelor’s degree in primary education. It’s all online, and students who live far away can complete their studies near home.

“I needed to be online, I can’t personally go with my schedule,” McKinstrey said. “So when I saw this three-year program, I thought it was the perfect time.”

Concordia also offers a three-year program for secondary social studies and English, and they are working on obtaining programs in mathematics and special education.

“Literally 30 minutes before we started talking, someone from the next area called me and said we really need a social studies teacher, do you have one? They call us every day, ”Dr. Adam said. Paape, Concordia Department of Secondary Education and Program Director of the Accelerated Primary Education Program.

A recent report from the Wisconsin Policy Forum shows that a bachelor’s degree in education fell 19.7% from 2011 to 2019 in at least 18 colleges and universities. The forum analyzed data from the Regional Alliance of Higher Education. The report also says that Department of Labor Development projects each year from 2018 to 2028 in southeastern Wisconsin will open 2,565 preschool and K-12 vacancies.

Gov. Tony Evers announced Monday that the state will allocate $ 1 million for a program of grants for teacher training and hiring.

“There’s a great need, I can’t say enough,” Paape said. “Schools have far more vacancies for teachers than teachers are preparing. If we think about how we can help with that, that’s what these programs are.”

McKinstra is scheduled to complete its program in the spring of 2023.

“Once I started the program, I realized how much of a difference I want to make in children’s lives,” she said. – A lot of work. It’s definitely worth it. “

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