For Immediate Release
April 16, 2010
TCNJ unveils new Center for Future Educators
EWING, NJ … A new era in future teacher recruitment has begun with the establishment of the Center for Future Educators at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ). Established in 2010, the Center’s mission is to reach out to and support New Jersey high school and middle school students who are considering careers in teaching. The Center’s focus is to recruit today’s students to become tomorrow’s teachers, particularly for high poverty, hard-to-staff schools and/or high shortage subject areas such as math, science, special education, world languages, technology, bilingual and ESL.
It is estimated that more than three million teachers will be needed in the next 10 years. Teacher shortages will be particularly prevalent in high poverty schools and in subjects such as math, physics, chemistry, biology and general science, bilingual education/ESL, special education, world languages, and technology education. There is a shortage of teachers from diverse, underrepresented backgrounds as well as males working in the nation’s classrooms.
The Center for Future Educators at TCNJ will continue and expand upon future teacher recruitment projects initiated during the past four years as part of a Teacher Quality Enhancement-Recruitment (TQE-R) Grant, awarded by the U.S. Department of Education to TCNJ in cooperation with the New Jersey Department of Education. Funding for TQE-R ended in September of 2009. In January of 2010, the New Jersey Education Association took over the funding of the programs.
The Center for Future Educators works in cooperation with high school and middle school administers, teachers, FEA advisers, guidance counselors, parents/guardians, and community members to recruit students who aspire to become future teachers.
The Center for Future educators will also continue to embrace future teacher recruitment partnerships started during the TQR-R Grant with institutions of higher education such as Montclair State University, Rowan University, Georgian Court University, William Paterson University, Kean University, and Fairleigh Dickinson University. The Center’s aim is to serve as an umbrella organization for future teacher recruitment where programmatic ideas can be shared and promising practices derived for recruiting the next generation of teachers.
Here is a snapshot of some of the Center’s current activities:
Urban Teacher Academy
Juniors from 26 high schools in central New Jersey are currently applying for the 2010 Urban Teacher Academy (UTA), a two-week intensive program that will be held on campus at TCNJ from July 6-16. Students will attend lectures and engage in discussions with distinguished TCNJ professors and local teachers; take field trips to urban schools and community agencies; and try their hands at teaching a math, science, and physical education lesson to 50 Ewing elementary children. The frameworks from TCNJ’s UTA have been replicated at Rowan University.
Tomorrow’s Teachers training is being offered at Fairleigh Dickinson University and Rowan University in June of 2010 to fifty New Jersey high school instructors by the Center of Future Educators at The College of New Jersey in cooperation with the New Jersey Education Association, and the New Jersey Department of Education.
Tomorrow’s Teachers is an elective course offered to high school juniors and seniors who aspire to become teachers. This course taught for a minimum of one class period a day for a year or the equivalent of that amount of time in contact hours. It includes three themes: Experiencing the Learner; Experiencing the Profession; and Experiencing the Classroom. A variety of hands-on activities and a strong emphasis on observations, and field experiences are provided. Emphasis is also placed on teaching critical shortage subject areas.
The Tomorrow’s Teachers curriculum was developed by the Center for Education, Recruitment, Retention and Advancement (CERRA) in South Carolina and is currently in place in 23 states. During the past two years, instructors from 90 New Jersey high schools have received Tomorrow’s Teachers training.
New Jersey Future Educators Association
The Center for Future Educators at The College of New Jersey has started the New Jersey Future Educators Association (NJFEA). This initiative will bring together all high school New Jersey FEA chapters to share best and promising practices and activities pertinent to recruiting future teachers. Such associations are commonplace in multiple other states.
For the first time, each FEA chapter will be invited to send two delegates to the New Jersey Education Association Fall Convention for a special NJFEA inaugural program. Delegates will attend presentations by national convention speakers, visit convention exhibits, ratify the NJFEA constitution and
bylaws, and meet their new student leaders who will conduct an afternoon plenary session.
The Center for Future Educators at the College of New Jersey is also planning with Kean University in Union, New Jersey, an NJFEA Conference for approximately five hundred students at Kean University on October 8, 2010. Students will attend exciting keynote presentations and attend breakout sessions with emphasis on teaching in high poverty, hard-to-staff schools and high shortage subject areas. Funding for this conference has been provided by the New Jersey Education Association.
Visit CFE on the Web to learn about exciting future teacher recruitment
initiatives in New Jersey: www.tcnj.edu/futureeducators