Utica College to Offer Apprentice Teacher Certification Program

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UC’s Transitional B Apprentice Teacher Certification Program to Ease Looming Teacher Shortage

As many baby boomers plan their retirement, a teacher shortage is imminent in New York State. In fact, the effects are already being felt – particularly in science, language and other secondary school specials. To help with this impending problem, Utica College will once again offer the Transitional B Apprentice Teacher Certification Program and will run a summer cohort starting this May. 

Enrollment in teacher education programs across the state has dropped 47 percent since 2009, according to New York State United Teachers Union (NYSUT). To make matters worse, NYS Teacher Retirement System projects that one-third of current teachers in the state could retire in the next five years. “That means that New York State will need about 180,000 teachers in the next decade,” explained Michelle Licht, president of Williamsville Teachers Association and member of the NYSUT board of directors. “And we just don't have that many people who are going into education.”

The UC program of study is designed for candidates who have earned a bachelor’s degree in a high-need area such as English, French, social studies, Spanish, biology, chemistry, earth science, physics, mathematics or technology, with a minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 3.0. Candidates in the Adolescence Education Apprenticeship Teacher Certification Program must complete an intensive 200-hour course of study during the summer, including time in a public-school setting. Candidates finish their degree program while engaged in mentored teaching as full-time employees of a local school district.

During the summer session of the program, students must complete 10 graduate credit hours, 40 hours of fieldwork, and pass the content specialty teacher certification test (CST) and the Educating All Students teacher certification test (EAS) given through the NYS Department of Education. Once these requirements have been completed, the student will be recommended to receive a Transitional B Certificate, which will allow them to teach while being mentored and supervised until they complete the other 28 credits of required coursework. The remaining coursework is taken in the evenings at Utica College. After all requirements have been met, students will be recommended for teacher certification.

The program is quite competitive, said John Rowe, executive director of graduate admissions. The application deadline is Feb. 15. The 16-week intensive pre-service course of study is tentatively scheduled to run fromMay 1 through August 24.

For more information, contact graduate admissions at 315-792-3010, Rowe at jrowe@utica.edu, or Lynn Cope, assistant director of graduate admissions, at lcope@utica.edu.