The nation is facing a critical shortage of qualified educators. Education Week predicted that there were more than 36,000 classrooms nationwide without a certified teacher last school year, and more than 163,000 teachers were not prepared for the subject they taught. The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) found that the number of students earning an undergraduate degree in education dropped from 200,000 annually in the early 1970s to less than 90,000 in 2018-19. Additionally, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have led to an overall decline in undergraduate enrollment, which has further contributed to declining participation in teacher preparation programs.
The DeKalb County School District (DCSD) can no longer wait on colleges and universities to prepare the needed workforce to supply Districts with high-quality, highly qualified teachers. To fill vacancies in critical areas and ensure a quality education for every student, the District has created its own teacher pipeline by establishing formal partnerships with high-quality Educator Preparation Program Providers (EPP). This provider, in collaboration with the District, has created an opportunity for talented individuals to complete a clearly articulated, no-cost, District-sponsored Teacher Residency Program.