Enrollment in Teacher Prep. Programs Falls Sharply

Story tools

A A AResize

Print

 

Enrollments in teacher preparation programs in California are continuing to decline at a precipitous rate, according to new figures prepared for the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

A report for the commission indicates that 26,446 students were enrolled in teacher preparation programs in 2011-12 – a 24 percent reduction from the previous year’s total of 34,838 students. That was by far the biggest decline recorded over the past decade, during which enrollments have steadily dropped. Enrollments have declined by 66 percent from a decade earlier, when 77,700 students were enrolled.

The declining enrollments are echoed by similarly declining numbers of teaching credentials. At the California State University system, which has traditionally produced about half of the teachers in the state, only 5,787 credentials were issued in 2011-12 to students in its teacher preparation programs, down from 13,933 in 2003-04, according to CSU figures.

It is impossible to know what precisely is causing the drop in numbers, but experts point to multiple factors.

One is that over the past five years, the teaching profession in California has been devastated by layoffs; some 26,000 teachers lost their jobs as a result of the state’s budget crisis. Except for openings in high-needs areas – special education, math and science, and English learners – it may be difficult for new teachers to find positions, especially in school districts or geographic areas of their choice.

Read the rest at EdSource Today