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CCCCD President Participates In Teacher Shortage Conference

CCCCD President Participates In Teacher Shortage Conference

October 25, 2002 - The president of Collin County Community College District attended an exclusive national conference discussing the nationwide shortage of qualified classroom teachers. The meeting was by invitation only and took place October 28-29 at the "Wingspread" facility in Racine, Wisconsin.

Cary Israel was one of just 32 asked to participate in the conference. The invitees are experts on education from across the country and are considered stakeholders in teacher preparation.

"The student population in Texas is growing so fast that within five years we will need tens of thousands of new teachers," said Israel. "Public policy makers are looking at community colleges and universities to prepare teachers to fill the shortage, particularly through programs like our alternative teacher certification program."

Other invitees included the head of the executive committee for the National Education Association as well as officials from American Federation of Teachers, the Education Commission of the States, the City University of New York, Northern Arizona University, Illinois State University, Maricopa and the Kentucky Community & Technical College System.

The American Council on Education projects a need for 2.5 million teachers over the next 10 years. Since 1995, the Texas student population has grown by nearly 14 percent to 4.1 million. By 2007, it will grow to more than 76,000, according to the state comptroller's Education Task Force. Although future projections on the shortage vary depending on the criteria, the State Board of Educator Certification says Texas was short approximately 45,000 teachers in the 2001-2002 academic year. The shortage of educators at all levels is most severe in subjects such as science, math, English as a second language, special education and other high-demand fields.

Wingspread is a home designed and built by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1938-39 for the Herbert Fisk Johnson family. The Johnson Foundation now operates the facility and supports only conferences on issues of public interest. To host a function at Wingspread, organizations must submit proposals.

The meeting was a project of the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE), the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), and the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT).

Collin County Community College District serves more than 37,000 credit and continuing education students annually and offers more than 100 degree and certificate programs in a wide range of disciplines. In addition, the CCCCD is a partner to business, government and industry, providing customized training and work force development.