Teacher shortage in California opens up new Teacher Education opportunities at Mesa College


Mesa offers new opportunities for aspiring teachers. Photo Credit: MCT Campus

Ana Laniado, Staff Writer


A plummet in teacher education students in California has led to a shortage of teachers, but has also opened up numerous opportunities for those in the career path. 

According to the LA Times, California governor Gavin Newsom stated “75% of state school districts face a shortage of fully trained teachers, especially in high school math and science, and at all grade levels for students with disabilities.” 

This teacher shortage California faces has made community colleges like Mesa create new opportunities for all teacher education students, especially for minority groups. 

According to Laurie K. Lorence, the Teacher Education Manager at Mesa, the big push is towards a more diverse teacher group, and overall, just more teachers. “Special needs [teachers] – they still have unfulfilled positions. They are issuing emergency credentials,” she stated.

However, it’s not all bad news. Mesa has begun a partnership with National University, which sprouted the “Teacher Pathway Inclusion Program.” This program will cost students a tuition of no more than $7,000 per year. 

“If the student expresses some need with scholarships, they could actually get the next two years at National free,” Lorence said. 

There will also be new opportunities for Latinx students. Lorence stated there will be a cohort of 10 students from Mesa and City college that will be able to earn significant stipends to help their path to San Diego State University. The program, the Developing Effective Bilingual Educators with Resources (DEBER), will be sponsored by the bilingual program of SDSU.

In addition, ED211 will become available for the Fall 2020 semester. This one-unit course will provide a first hand experience of teaching for math and science majors. 

Lorence added that the people of education have been making changes in order to better reflect people’s interest. Salaries for educators have been raised to an estimate of $65,000 a year, with the additional usual benefit of having the summers off. 

“[Teacher education] students need to know there are some really good opportunities out there,” said Lorence. “This is a chance for you to give justice to the world – a world that really needs equity.”