Sonoma County Office of Education

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SCOE to open new school of education to address teacher shortage

10/16/2015 -

The North Bay is feeling the impact of a statewide teacher shortage. To meet the immense demand for new teachers, the Sonoma County Office of Education plans to open a new school of education. The North Coast School of Education, located at SCOE and run through the North Coast Teacher Induction Program (NCTIP), is scheduled to open in early 2016.

“The wave of teacher shortages has hit Sonoma County and SCOE wants to meet the need head-on,” said County Superintendent of Schools Steve Herrington. “The new school of education will provide potential teachers many ways to get into local classrooms, including an internship program.”

The North Coast School of Education is under development now, in partnership with the Tulare County Office of Education. By the time it’s fully implemented in 2018, the school of education—accredited through the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) system—will offer the following: teacher intern programs that provide teaching candidates an alternative path to the classroom; teacher induction programs to support and coach first-time teachers; an administrative credential program; and designated subject programs including career technical education, adult education and special subjects credentials.

Karen Ricketts, director of NCTIP, expressed particular enthusiasm about the innovative “Be a Teacher” intern program, which will enroll one or two cohorts of about 35 teacher candidates after the start of 2016.

“Our goal is to have eligible cohort participants working in classrooms as paid teacher interns by the start of the 2016-17 school year,” she said. Interns will be able to complete the coursework needed for their credentials during nights and weekends while working as a teacher by day. Ricketts added that the program will be affordable and flexible, designed to meet the needs of working parents or a professional wanting to change careers.

NCTIP, formerly the North Coast Beginning Teacher Program, has seen dramatic growth in its teacher induction and credentialing programs in response to a spike in demand for teachers brought on by a wave of teacher retirements. In 2008-09, 563 people enrolled in the programs. In 2015-16, a projected 930 will enroll.

“We’re hoping to create a one-stop-shop to provide our existing and future educators with innovation, accredited courses, professional coaching, ongoing mentoring, and units that allow candidates to meet their career goals and enter the teacher workforce,” she said.

NCTIP plans to hold informational sessions about the program in November and December. Anyone who would like to attend can reserve a spot at www.surveymonkey.com/r/BeATeacher.

“Now is a great time to be a teacher in Sonoma County,” Herrington said. “I hope the convenience and affordability of the new school of education will prompt talented Sonoma County professionals to consider this important and satisfying career.”

For more information, visit the school of education website at www.ncbtp.org or www.ncsoe.org.

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