Enrollment In Teaching Programs At Wichita State On The Rise

Nov 27, 2017

Enrollment is up at Wichita State University’s College of Education -- a welcome sign in the face of Kansas' teacher shortage.

There are more than 400 teacher and related position vacancies in school districts across Kansas.

Dean Shirley Lefever of WSU's College of Education says the college has been trying to alleviate the issue by recruiting more students to the education program. This year enrollment is up by 8 percent compared to last year — nearly double the increased enrollment for WSU as a whole. In the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, which specifically trains students to get a teaching license and further develop graduate students who already have one, enrollment increased by 11 percent.

But Lefever says this still isn’t enough to solve the state’s teacher shortage.

“That would be nice," Lefever says. "But to address the teacher vacancies, in special education in particular, it will require a statewide comprehensive effort. No one institution alone can solve the problem.”

Related: Task Force: Interest In Teaching, Studying Education Dwindling In Kansas

An analysis by the Kansas News Service found that low income students and those in special education and English-language learners are disproportionally impacted by the shortage.

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