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Bridging the Gap: Education Pathway Addresses the Louisiana Teacher Shortage

education pathway

“Our region strives to expand opportunities and fulfill curiosities about a career in education, and what better place to do that than SLCC? Our community needs teachers and the best place to find them is right here at home.”

Rachel Brown is an Adjunct Faculty in Liberal Arts & Humanities at South Louisiana Community College, and she is part of the rapid response being deployed by SLCC to help get qualified educators in Louisiana classrooms. The college has developed an innovative Education Pathway that not only addresses the shortage but also provides students with a solid foundation for transferring to other universities to complete their education.

“Worldview of Teaching & Learning is an in-person course where students get to explore philosophy, best practices, and fundamentals of education in our district and state, and compare those to elsewhere in the country and world,” explains Brown. “This course transfers to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, meeting the requirement for a foundational Education course. The other class we offer is an Introduction to Education, which is taught virtually in the evenings to accommodate working professionals who may be classroom aides, school staff, or work in other industries during the day.”

By creating a curriculum tailored to the evolving needs of education and the specific demands of the local community, SLCC aims to address the teacher shortage at its roots. The pathway not only equips students with the necessary knowledge and skills but also acts as a steppingstone for those who wish to pursue advanced degrees at other institutions.

Recognizing the dynamic nature of the education sector, SLCC plans to expand its Education Pathway in the coming semesters. New courses and internship opportunities will be introduced, providing students with a comprehensive and hands-on learning experience. This expansion aligns with SLCC's commitment to staying ahead of educational trends and preparing students to meet the evolving demands of the teaching profession.

sign language“One major challenge,” explains Brown, “is being able to push out all the negative noise surrounding an education career and find the confidence and passion to know this is important work. Knowing what expectations will be placed on you before starting the job can alleviate anxiety and help provide time and resources to be proactively successful. These courses lay out what system and school leaders expect and how teachers can perform their best with that in mind.”

By addressing the root causes of the problem and providing a robust foundation for aspiring educators, SLCC is not only contributing to the local community but also helping shape the future of education. It’s a future Brown knows is worth the investment.

“No other profession can exist without teachers. Teaching has not been getting the recognition it  deserves, when really, it is the most honorable profession. Most teachers wind up teaching in their hometowns, so growing our own professionals means investing in a thriving community.”

For those interested in exploring the Education Pathway at SLCC, please visit www.solacc.edu/generalstudies.

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