Local News

FSU Looking To Bring More Teachers To North Carolina

Posted November 30, 2001

— The state estimates 80,000 teachers will be needed in the next decade.

Fayetteville State University

is stepping up production by encouraging new college students to teach and capturing a resource already in the classroom.

When first-graders glide through Patricia Powers' door, they know they are about to learn something from their teacher.

Powers spent years as a teacher's assistant at Montclair Elementary. Next month, she graduates from Fayetteville State University with an education degree through the FSU's Professional Academic Training Highway program (PATH).

"They really made it a little easier for us to attend classes in the evening and even Saturday classes. That really helped a lot," she said.

PATH is the university's effort to retain teachers by reaching those, like Powers, already committed to schools.

"They literally go to the areas where there is a greater need, like in rural areas," said Dr. Joseph Johnson, dean of the School of Education.

To help combat the teacher shortage, FSU chancellor Willis B. McLeod announced a new undergraduate program,

Professional Educators for Tomorrow

(PET).

"I want to teach. I really enjoy imparting what I know and want to give my knowledge to others," said PET scholar Arkeem Fleming.

The PET and PATH programs together will add nearly 100 new and fully qualified teachers to the workforce each year, whittling at the 80,000 teachers needed by 2010.

Cumberland County school officials said they will make 58 recruitment trips to other states looking for teachers.

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