CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Many school districts across the state are facing teacher shortages.
It’s a problem that’s gotten worse during the pandemic, but there’s a new program to help address that in some central Illinois districts.
Regional Office of Education #9 is made up of Champaign and Ford county public schools. Eastern Illinois University has partnered with ROE #9 to improve access to teacher licensure.
It’s for para-professionals already working in schools, people with Bachelor’s degrees looking for a career change, and students who’ve completed some college but cannot commute to Charleston to complete programs.
The goal is to create more access to affordable teacher licensure. There will be a program for special education to teach kindergarten through age 21, and another for elementary education.
People in the program will take classes in Champaign at the Regional Office of Education and local community colleges through Eastern Illinois University.
This starts in fall and program participants will be be ready to student teach as early as 2024.