MI schools face staff shortages as enrollment declines in teacher prep programs

May 7, 2015

MSU College of Education Dean Don Heller
Credit Courtesy MSU College of Education

Ask a five year old what they want to be when they grow up and chances are you’ll hear things like a doctor, a teacher, and maybe Batman. Obviously, not many kids grow up to be Batman, but increasingly there are also fewer and fewer growing up to be teachers. Across the country and here in Michigan, the number of students choosing to go into teaching preparation programs is declining.

A recent article by Detroit Free Press reporter Lori Higgins found the number of Michigan students in teacher preparation programs declined by 38 percent from 2008 to 2013. That’s left some schools scrambling to fill positions, especially in areas like foreign language and the STEM fields.

Current State talks with Don Heller, Dean of the College of Education here at Michigan State University, about how steep a decline MSU has seen in recent years.