How one state is using education college students to plug an ongoing teacher shortage

By: | May 21, 2021

Faced with an ongoing teacher shortage during the coronavirus pandemic, officials in Connecticut announced plans late last year to allow college students to teach in public school classrooms, offering aspiring educators hands-on experience while alleviating the staffing crunch for administrators.

The pilot program, dubbed NextGen Educators, is a partnership between the Connecticut State Department of Education and Central Connecticut State University. It’s already active in Bristol, where 18 education students are working as apprentice teachers in elementary school classrooms. Three additional school districts are in line to participate if the program is expanded.

The pilot works by assigning two participants to each classroom, with the expectation that each will provide “two to three days of support.” The apprentice educators are mentored by “master” teachers and will be paid at the same rate as substitute teachers, with the state funding necessary background checks, according to a news release.

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