With an estimated half million teaching jobs forecast to open nationwide this decade, Central Michigan University is hoping a new articulation agreement with the Michigan Department of Education's Office of Career and Technical Education will encourage more high school students to throw their hats into the teaching ring early.
The agreement, signed today by CMU Provost Michael A. Gealt and State Superintendent Michael Flanagan, will allow students completing the MDE-CTE state-approved teacher education career and technical education programs in high school to be granted course credit at CMU for the EDU 107 introduction to teaching course.
"This is an exciting opportunity for students across Michigan," said Flanagan. "Allowing high school students to receive college-level instruction and credit will not only build their confidence and knowledge, but also form a foundation to continue their lifetime of learning and teaching. I appreciate the efforts of both Central Michigan University and our CTE team here at the Department of Education to bring this tremendous opportunity to Michigan's high school students."
Renee Papelian, CMU's director of professional education who helped initiate the education agreement with the state, said students completing all 12 segments of the MDE-CTE program in a high school or career and technical center can step onto CMU's campus with three credit hours in hand.
"This is an excellent connection for career and technical education students to transition to CMU's teacher education program," said Papelian. "We're saying, we not only recognize that you're taking an excellent course, but we also welcome you into our teacher education program."
This is the first statewide blanket agreement that will make hundreds of approved MDE-CTE education courses the preliminary steps for students in CMU's teacher education program.
Larry Corbett, department chair in teacher education and professional development, believes the agreement will strengthen CMU's program by demonstrating support, interest and concern for high school students considering a career in teaching.
"Once the agreement is in place, we plan to visit these high school classrooms to discuss the career opportunities in teaching at CMU," Corbett said. "We also plan to offer professional development opportunities to the instructors in these programs across the state."
Papelian said the MDE-CTE approval criteria will be the gatekeeper of the courses selected rigorous enough to qualify for credit at CMU. The early outreach efforts and approved classes are designed to show young people the challenges and possibilities of a teaching career.
"Teachers are being held to higher expectations of quality, skills and knowledge today than at any time in the past," Corbett said. "We need to engage the future teachers at an earlier point in their educational training. And we need to focus the training of teacher preparation institutions on developing the wide array of teaching skills and knowledge to be successful."
Teaching jobs for future teachers look promising. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts there will be more than 500,000 available teaching jobs between 2010 and 2020. More than 9,500 Michigan school employees, on average, have retired each year since 2005. About 70 percent of those are teachers, Chuck Agerstrand, Michigan Education Association spokesman said.
The MDE-CTE program is designed to encourage high achieving high school students to pursue teaching careers.
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