CSI program aims to address teacher shortage

“It has become more and more difficult”
Published: Mar. 4, 2021 at 5:42 PM MST
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — A program at the College of Southern Idaho is working to address Idaho’s current teacher shortage. That is the topic of this week’s From Learning to Leading.

Not having enough qualified teachers is something Magic Valley School districts have been struggling with for years. To address this issue, a program was born at CSI known as the Non-Traditional Educator Preparation Program.

“All those years without fail the question keeps coming up, how do we best prepare teachers so it’s affordable and so they feel so well equipped and so well supported that they’ll stay?” said Christina Linder, the director of the Non-Traditional Educator Preparation Program.

The program aims to work with school district leaders to identify career-changers within their communities they also help paraprofessionals and guide them toward getting a bachelor’s degree.

“It’s been probably within the last five years that it has become more and more difficult,” said Twin Falls School District associate superintendent Bill Brulotte. “We have about 10 of them doing that program through CSI.”

The entire program is personalized for each candidate. Some individuals come into the program with a bachelor’s degree in a different field and then the program can help instruct them on the skills needed to go into a classroom. The full certification program includes five modules that will typically take a candidate four semesters plus one summer. Candidates who are already certified and just need to add an endorsement can complete the program in as little as one to two semesters.

“They bring real life and their experiences into the content and also have that maturity,” Linder said. “That depth of expertise is really what we’d like, we’d like to pull in those people especially.”

The program will work closely with the district and assign candidates a mentor living in their area to provide face-to-face support.

“It is amazing because of the shortage,” Brulotte said. “Just trying to get some people that have that desire because and they want to learn, and they want to learn how to teach better.”

For more information about the Non-Traditional Educator Preparation Program visit the webpage.

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