Growing enrollment in K-12 classrooms will require an influx of new teachers in the next few years, as baby boomer educators retire. Paul R. Kennedy

Will you be my teacher?

Despite discouraging headlines, the prospects for highly qualified teachers trained at UC Irvine look good as older educators retire.

Layoffs and looming education cuts may dominate news headlines, but that should not deter prospective teachers from pursuing a career in education, according to Karol Gottfredson, coordinator of UC Irvine’s Intern Teaching Credential Program.

California’s Department of Education projects that the demand for K-12 teachers will continue to grow as almost a third of the state’s 300,000 teachers will retire within the next ten years. By 2010, there will be a need for 3.35 million teachers in the U.S.

“Orange County still is a growth area and enrollment in schools will continue to increase,” Gottfredson says. “Districts demand accountability, high standards, and highly qualified teachers, especially in the impacted areas of math, science and special education.”

Teacher preparation programs at UCI include credential courses, a Masters in Teaching and an internship program that places students in teaching positions while earning credits toward a credential.

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