There’s a statewide teacher shortage and ODU is doing something to address that

ODU's Darden College of Education and Professional Studies. (Southsdie Daily/Courtesy of ODU)
ODU’s Darden College of Education and Professional Studies. (Southsdie Daily/Courtesy of ODU)

NORFOLK — In accord with the 2017 Governor’s Directive to meet the demands of teacher shortages and produce highly qualified teachers in Virginia, Old Dominion University is now offering new undergraduate degrees in education.

The four new bachelor’s of science degree programs in early childhood education, elementary education, special education, and career and technical education with concentrations in technology education and marketing education are housed in the Darden College of Education and Professional Studies and will launch fall 2019.

The shift will allow students from the early childhood education and elementary education programs to graduate with eligibility for teacher licensure in four years.

Prior to the adoption of these new programs, students pursuing degrees in early childhood and elementary education had to earn an undergraduate degree from the Batten College of Arts & Letters in interdisciplinary studies and complete a fifth-year master’s to earn teacher licensure from the Darden College of Education and Professional Studies.

The degrees in special education and career and technical education will remain four-year degrees, but will be specific to their endorsement areas.

Before, those pursuing special education obtained a degree in interdisciplinary studies and those pursuing technology or marketing education obtained a degree in occupational and technical studies. Students will now pursue a bachelor’s of science in special education or a bachelor’s of science in career and technical education with a concentration in either technology education or marketing education. With the new change, all teacher licensure programs at Old Dominion will be offered in four years.

“The new programs will serve schools by educating more teachers and those future teachers will all be graduating with less student debt,” said Jane S. Bray, dean of the Darden College of Education and Professional Studies.

Associate dean for undergraduate education Tammi Dice led a team of faculty from the Darden College on new program design and curriculum.

The curriculum for each of the degree programs has been designed to meet the academic requirements for licensure as specified by the Virginia Department of Education standards.

The degree also incorporates accreditation requirements set forth by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

“These programs are designed to provide the necessary pedagogy for current and future students entering the teaching profession, while also providing rich and rigorous field experiences,” said Dice.

As part of the new curriculum, students will complete general education courses and share a core of professional education classes. Students will also complete extensive field work and a capstone teaching experience, which will provide opportunities for students to apply their knowledge of teaching under supervision in the school setting.

For more information on the new degree programs, as well as other teacher education degrees offered at Old Dominion, click here.

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John Mangalonzo (john@localvoicemedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.