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The College of Saint Rose, which awards more degrees and certificates in education than any college or university in New York State, has launched a four-prong Build the Teacher Pipeline Initiative to address the statewide and national teacher shortage.

Saint Rose President Marcia J. White announced the initiative alongside New York Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado, school leaders, government officials, and Saint Rose faculty in a news conference on October 27.

“The COVID-19 pandemic intensified what was already rising to crisis levels – the teacher shortage. Our children have been through enough throughout the pandemic. Today, we take action. Saint Rose pledges to continue to be at the forefront of making sure our children have the very best teachers, who foster learning and support students. Teachers change lives,” White said.

“The root of the teacher shortage is a nationwide drop in the number of students pursuing teaching degrees. As a leader in this field, Saint Rose believes the teacher shortage isn’t just a crisis for the state to solve, it is a shared problem, and the private sector and foundations are part of the answer. We are grateful for the donor support received to seed this initiative and the support from the Touhey Foundation.”

New York State Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado was at Saint Rose on Thursday, October 27, to join us for the announcement of the Build the Teacher Pipeline Initiative (Photo by Erin Nagy)

New York State Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado was at Saint Rose on Thursday, October 27, to join us for the announcement of the Build the Teacher Pipeline Initiative (Photo by Erin Nagy)

The lieutenant governor praised the College for stepping up to help.

“Teachers are critical to educating and empowering our students to become our leaders of tomorrow,” Delgado said. “We know the pandemic has exacerbated workforce shortages in areas like education and healthcare, and to address these shortages New York State has been working to remove barriers and incentivize these career choices. We applaud Saint Rose for launching their Build the Teacher Pipeline Initiative, which incentivizes teaching as a career choice that is accessible to all students.”

The four-prong initiative includes:

Free housing for new education undergraduates: Saint Rose will offer free on-campus housing for up to four years to first-year and transfer education majors who newly enroll for the 2023-2024 and 2024-2025 academic years. This saves students more than $28,000 over four years in expenses.

Graduate scholarships for career changers: Career changers seeking to become teachers can receive a $1,500 grant per semester for up to five semesters (a total of $7,500 in funding) for any of our education master’s degree programs leading to initial certification.

Flex delivery of education graduate programs: Graduate education will become more accessible to working adults by moving our education programs into our unique Flex mode of delivery over the next two years. Flex delivery allows students to take courses in-person, via livestream, or online on their own time.

Relevant professional development to combat educator burnout: A free, five-part webinar series, continuing education, and microcredentialing programs for educators will launch beginning this fall to tackle the challenges of today’s educational environment. A May 2022 statewide survey of nearly 700 educators revealed pressing training needs. We’ll leverage the expertise of our faculty, not only in teaching and education administration, but in school psychology, school counseling, and clinical mental health as schools face increased student anxiety and the impact of student trauma on mental health.

In addition to the four-prong plan, the Touhey Foundation has committed to provide tuition gap funding to encourage more students of color to enter the pipeline, recognizing that diverse educator voices are critical for all of our children.

Saint Rose President Marcia J. White announced the Build the Teacher Pipeline Initiative alongside government officials, education leaders, and the College community. The donor-supported initiative is aimed at increasing the number of students who choose to pursue teaching degrees and enter the field as the state and nation grapple with a teacher shortage. (Photo by Erin Nagy)

New York State Assemblymember Patricia Fahy said the initiative addresses a pressing need in the state.

“Any effort we make to attract and retain more teachers into the profession will make a world of difference in the years to come, and that’s why Saint Rose’s decision to offer financial incentives for students pursuing their teaching certifications and creation of a ‘Teacher Pipeline’ is so important,” Fahy said. “It’s also why I introduced legislation in the state legislature, the Masters in Education Teacher Incentive Act, to allow private college or university students to use masters in teaching program scholarships in pursuit of their studies, funneling more teachers into the profession. All of these multi-pronged efforts will ensure that New York State remains ahead of the curve, and that we have enough educators to continue providing a world-class education to all P-12 students.”

“I am incredibly proud of my alma mater for stepping up to address the shortage, which we feel every day in our schools,” said Angelina Maloney, superintendent of the Brunswick Central School District and a 1996 graduate of Saint Rose. “It’s always easy to pick a Saint Rose grad because they have particular sets of pedagogical styles. It’s very hardworking. It’s very equity-based. It’s very inclusive, and they really have good skills. I’m thrilled to see Saint Rose leading the charge to address this educational crisis and inspire more people into this wonderful and life-changing field, and they’re going to build the pipeline with the very best.”
The undergraduate and graduate initiatives are designed to incentivize more new students to enter the teacher pipeline.

The housing initiative applies to new undergraduate students majoring in:
Childhood and Special Education
Early Childhood and Childhood Education (B-6)
Inclusive Early Childhood Education
English Adolescence Education
Social Studies Adolescence Education
ASPIRE English and Social Studies (a BA/MSED dual degree program)

Tuition assistance for graduate students

For those who already hold bachelor’s degrees in a field other than education, New York State recently made the path for career-changers smoother by no longer requiring them to take the Graduate Record Examinations (GREs) to enter a master’s degree program in education. The grant and move toward Flex delivery as part of the Build the Teacher Pipeline Initiative is meant to remove additional barriers for those who are balancing work and graduate school. The Build the Pipeline grant, which can be combined with other forms of financial aid, will save graduate students up to $7,500.

Career changers can choose from the following programs:
MSED in Adolescence Education
MSED in Early Childhood and Childhood Education
MSED in Adolescence Education/Special Education 7-12
MSED in Childhood Education/Special Education Grades 1-6

Currently, classes in these education programs are offered in the late afternoon and evening.

“This shortage has been caused for a couple of reasons. In the past, it was harder to get a teaching position, so many who were interested in teaching chose other careers. Now with many experienced teachers retiring and fewer mid-career teachers in the profession, there are openings in many schools,” said Dr. Christina Pfister, professor of education and co-chair of the teacher education department at Saint Rose. “Frequently I get calls or emails from principals and superintendents asking if I have anyone I could recommend for an interview for a teaching position. Unfortunately, I often have to say most of our recent graduates either have teaching positions already or were undergraduates and are now continuing right into a graduate program full time.”

Learn more about this initiative at www.strose.edu/teach.

About The College of Saint Rose: Founded in 1920, The College of Saint Rose is a private independent college located in the state capital of Albany, New York. The College is home to nearly 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students across many programs. It is a top granter of degrees and certificates in education in the state, has one of the top forensic psychology programs in the country, and offers the only Cold Case Analysis Center in New York, where students in the fields of criminal justice, forensic psychology, and forensic science work alongside law enforcement on real cold cases. Students experience a Theory in Action approach to learning in both their undergraduate and graduate studies, and the College still lives its founding mission of serving the dear neighbor and meeting the needs of the times.