State System universities were created over a century ago to train teachers, and with 17,400 majors, education remains our second largest academic program. Now more than ever, the State System is ready to prepare and train more teachers/educators.

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Success Highlights

Dr. Elizabeth Robison '88M was already an elementary level educator when she had her first experience with the career community at Commonwealth University-Bloomsburg. As a teacher at All Saints in Pottsville, Robison decided to pursue her M.Ed. at Bloomsburg. And even though she already had some classroom experience, she gained confidence and made multiple connections with her coursework as a graduate assistant with the reading clinic.
Cheyney University, once named the Cheyney Training School for Teachers and Cheyney State Teachers College, has an exceptional history of cultivating educators, many of which served the Greater Philadelphia area. Alumna Joyce Abbott, who graduated with a Master's in Education from Cheyney, is the inspiration behind the hit Emmy-winning TV show Abbott Elementary, which is written, produced, and starring her former sixth-grade student, Quinta Brunson. Abbott visited Cheyney last September for a Table Talk.
Growing up, East Stroudsburg University student Jared Johnson never considered a career in teaching. Now, as an adult, he can’t imagine doing anything else. Johnson, a native of Effort, Pa., now living in Saylorsburg, served five years in the United States Navy prior to enrolling in college. His experience as a trainer in the military laid the foundation for his civilian teaching career.
Indiana University of Pennsylvania has been selected to receive $72,049 from the Pennsylvania Department of Education through its Teacher Prep2Practice grant program. IUP’s funding will be used to design a culturally relevant teaching academy to diversify the teacher workforce and address the national teacher shortage. This work will take place in partnership with the Gateway School District in Monroeville, Allegheny County.
Mallory Schmidt, a native of Boyertown, Pa., graduated from Kutztown University in December 2022 with a degree in Early Education/Visual Impairment Education. Kutztown is one of six universities in the United States to offer a program to become a teacher of the visually impaired at the undergraduate level, which made it the perfect fit for Mallory. 
Cora Stackhouse, of Jersey Shore, is the recipient of Commonwealth University-Lock Haven's LHU Foundation "Making a Difference" Scholarship and Susan Selleck Memorial Scholarship for the 2022-23 school year. Stackhouse is a sophomore majoring in education with a dual emphasis in Pre-K to 4th grade and special education. Stackhouse said both scholarships have had a meaningful impact on her Haven experience.
McCauley Fox, a student at Commonwealth University-Mansfield, has “left her mark” in more ways than one while student teaching at Canton Elementary School. Fox spent many hours outside of the school day bringing color to the elementary playground.
Earning one degree is a major accomplishment. Earning four degrees is simply amazing. And that is exactly what Daniel Herr accomplished this month. Herr has been a student at Millersville University for many years. He first earned his Bachelor of Science in Education in 2006. From there, he earned a Master of Education in Mathematics in 2010. Herr then went on to earn his second Master of Education in Leadership for Teaching & Learning in 2017. And, on Dec. 11, he earned his third Master of Education, in Assessment, Curriculum & Teaching.
The National Education Association estimates the United States is facing a shortage of about 300,000 teachers and support staff. Job openings began to outnumber hires in 2017, and the gap has only widened throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. With more than 480 years of combined experience in preparing exceptional educators, it’s no surprise that Pennsylvania Western University is doing its part to address this growing crisis.
The Pennsylvania Department of Education awarded Shippensburg University a $100,000 Prep2Practice grant that will support the recruitment and retention of middle school and high school students from underrepresented populations who wish to pursue a career in math education. According to the U.S. Department of Education, there is a shortage of secondary mathematics teachers across Pennsylvania, and secondary schools in the South Central region are no different.
First responders run to where help is needed most. Sometimes that means going where few others are willing to go, where danger lurks on the other side of the door. Police officers like Jeff Hollidge do this every time they serve an arrest warrant. The 35-year-old has spent his 12-year career in law enforcement running to danger. But now, as a student at Slippery Rock University, Hollidge is running to a different kind of uncertainty and need. He is changing his career and becoming a school teacher.
Fueled by a passion to help others learn and discover, teaching is one of the most inspirational careers one can take on. Post-pandemic, however, the profession has evolved dramatically, and those who have dedicated themselves to the life-transforming career understand that it will take a lot more than tempting teachers with apples to swell the ranks. Interestingly, a significant factor associated with the current national teacher shortage is decreased interest in the profession prompted by the perception of what it means to be a teacher. West Chester University’s Dean of the College of Education and Social Work, Desha Williams, knows exactly what it will take to fill the pipeline once again— Partnering in Raising Inclusive, Zealous Educators (PRIZE).