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Colleges Say Less Students Are Majoring In Education

Updated: Wednesday, June 11 2014, 11:19 PM CDT
The Bureau of Labor Statistics says there will be a need for more teachers in the coming years. That may be surprising to hear considering schools across Illinois have made drastic teaching cuts over the last year.

Some professors believe that has scared some future educators away.

Getting more teachers in the classroom. That's the outlook from the Bureau of Labor Statistics which projects a 6% to 19% job growth over the next 8 years, but filling those positions with qualified candidates could be a challenge.

"At the university level we are seeing fewer students enter the teaching field," said Dr. William Phillips, Associate Professor at UIS.

Dr. Phillips has been an educator for more than 40 years. Now he is a professor at UIS.

He says the loss of interest to become a teacher is because of state lawmakers who have cut funding, which is forcing schools to cut jobs.

"I have never seen funding as bad as it is now. Never ever have I seen funding consistently bad and unknown," said Dr. Phillips.

But money isn't the only problem, teachers have been forced to change curriculum to adhere to common core standards.

"I think the American Educational System is second to none and a lot of people are tinkering with the system with the assumption they are going to improve it and I think it can stand on its own merits," said Dr. Phillips.

"The reality is the profession is changing. They are alot of demands these days. There is a lot of accountability," said Chris Koch, the Illinois Superintendent of Education.

Koch says the changing field shouldn't scare future educators away. Despite struggles, he believes there will always be a need.

"We need good people. We need people in the sciences and math in particular and certain disciplines," said Koch.

College professors have advice for those wanting to become teachers. They say stick with it, and be flexible. Moving out of state could be an opportunity for a first job.Colleges Say Less Students Are Majoring In Education


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