UE Meets Teacher Shortage with Reduced Tuition

Posted: Thursday, September 22, 2016

The University of Evansville has revamped their teacher certification program for returning adults and cut tuition costs by 60 percent for adults with bachelor’s degrees who return to college to certify as teachers. 

The program, called Transition to Teaching, was developed by the UE School of Education. It was designed to respond to a dramatic increase in the need for teachers, especially in high need areas such as the sciences, foreign languages, and mathematics across the tristate area, reports Sharon Gieselmann, the chair of the department.

“School corporations in the tristate area report a reduction in applications for teaching positions,” said Gieselmann. “The University of Evansville desires to produce more quality teacher candidates for schools in the region so corporations can continue to offer excellent educational opportunities for their P-12 students.”

The Transition to Teaching program requires 17 credit hours at a steeply discounted rate of $385 per credit hour. It is available for secondary certification in math, life science/biology, chemistry, physics, history, English, visual art, and music.

According to Mary Kessler, dean of the College of Education and Health Sciences, the school is currently pursuing state certification of an elementary education Transition to Teaching Program and hopes to be able to offer it in the spring of 2017. Much of the instruction in the Transition to Teaching Program occurs in the schools through a series of internships and student teaching experiences. 

“We recognize the value of classroom experience and mentoring from an effective teacher to help a candidate better develop the skills necessary to provide quality instructional strategies and classroom management.”

One of the most attractive features in the UE program, according to Gieselmann, is that it can work with individuals currently teaching with provisional certifications to build internships and student teaching experiences around their existing classroom activities. Additionally, those with a bachelor’s degree and the passion to teach or the desire for a career change can enroll in the program and meet requirements to obtain a teaching license.

“This is something that is at the heart of UE’s mission of civic engagement,” says Michael Austin, executive vice president for academic affairs. “We have local school districts who need teachers desperately, and we have a community full of people with the skills and knowledge to become teachers who lack only the certification. Our goal is to provide a way for people in our community to prepare themselves to meet this need quickly and affordably.”

Questions about the University of Evansville Transition to Teaching Program should be directed to Tammy Flanagan, student services specialist in the Center for Adult Education, at tf62@evansville.edu.

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