MDC Fills Critical Teacher Shortage As the national teacher shortage continues, schools all over the country are trying to keep up with the ever-growing number of positions that need to be filled. Miami Dade College has taken a proactive approach to resolving the shortage locally with initiatives to streamline the process of getting highly qualified educators into area classrooms. “The U.S. will need a minimum of 145,000 teachers over the next five years,” said Dr. Susan Neimand, director of the School of Education at MDC, and she’s confident the College’s new teaching academies will help create a steady pipeline. The program, which is available to local high school students, offers a structured and robust career pathway into the teaching profession. MDC is training teachers to meet the nation’s critical shortfall. In the next five years, 145,000 teachers will be needed nationwide. “Students start in ninth and tenth grade where they begin to explore teaching as a career,” said Neimand. By they time they are juniors, the high school students enter dual enrollment at MDC and begin taking college-level courses that fulfill education program prerequisites. In addition to earning college credit, teaching academy students get the chance to explore the career or education through field trips, workshops and mentorship opportunities. “There are tremendous benefits for students who are willing to be a part of this,” Neimand said. “All of our graduates from our baccalaureate and Education Preparation Institute (EPI) programs who are licensed in the state of Florida are teaching if they want jobs.” Miami Dade College opened its first teaching academy at Miami Springs Senior High School last fall. A second academy is set to open at Coral Gables Senior High School this month.
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