ROCHESTER (WXXI) - The New Year could bring an expansion of a program that allows professionals with graduate degrees in a number of other fields to transfer their real work experience to a New York State teaching certificate.
Right now, the transitional G teaching certification is available only to those in the STEM fields, but the State Education Department wants to open it up to professionals in any other discipline where there is a teaching certificate title.
That could include English, foreign languages, social studies, and music.
The proposed expansion is an apparent response to a statewide teacher shortage. Sherry Johnson, executive director of the Monroe County School Boards Association, says enrollment in college teaching programs is also down.
"We're hearing from them as well that they're just not getting the numbers they used to get, so I think this is the right move by State Ed."
The transitional G teaching certificate is issued to individuals who are changing careers and others who hold a graduate or higher degree and have at last two years of postsecondary teaching experience and a job commitment from a school district.
In addition to that, Johnson says, there' is a certain quality that makes someone a good fit for the classroom.