Course in Jonesboro getting more educators qualified for the classroom

Published: Jun. 8, 2023 at 4:48 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Filling classrooms around the state, that’s the goal of the Arkansas Teacher Corp which spent this week training those who want to become educators.

Brandon Lucius is the Executive Director for the Arkansas Teacher Corp and helped organize an alternative teacher training program with the University of Arkansas.

According to Forward Arkansas in 2021 approximately 4% of teachers were uncertified, more than double the national average of 1.7%, and this program makes it so that number will eventually fall.

“All of our folks have a degree in a certain content area, not exactly a degree in education and so they are here to get training on the foundations to teach the material they know,” Lucius said.

The 7-week course meets for 2 weeks in person at the beginning and end of the course during the summer, and Lucius was excited about the turnout this year of 38.

“It’s our highest ever, it’s our largest group we had about 35 last year so this is another step up,” Lucius said.

According to Forward Arkansas, statewide 30 districts have a workforce that includes at least 10% uncertified teachers, so Lucius commends these people for doing their best to educate the children around the state.

“A lot of them are older adults who have had a lot of challenges throughout their life, so they credit the teachers that have made a difference with them and inspired them to do more to stick it out and go to college,” Lucius said.

After the course, teachers go to different underserved districts around the state.