The College of Education and Liberal Arts (COELA) is a leader in helping resolve Delaware’s teacher shortage. The state’s public elementary and secondary schools had more than 500 openings at the beginning of the academic year, attributed, in part, to a spike in teacher retirements during the pandemic.
Dr. Stacie Zdrojewski, Clinical Studies chair, is participating in a self-study group hosted by the Delaware Department of Education (DOE). The group will partner with Learning Forward, a specialist in education metrics, to design a study to evaluate current practices and create short-term and long-term recruitment plans aligned with best practices. In her 24-year career as a teacher in the Red Clay Consolidated School District, Dr. Zdrojewski was one of the first mentor teachers for Wilmington University’s Yearlong Residency program.
Dr. Tyler Wells, director of Teacher Preparation, Community Outreach and Partnerships, and Dr. Zdrojewski also attended the DOE’s Aspiring Teachers virtual information session for paraprofessionals interested in becoming public school teachers. Eight potential candidates attended COELA’s breakout Zoom room to learn more about various programs and options offered by WilmU.
COELA faculty participated in a Teacher Academy committee meeting, which brought together school districts, students enrolled in high school Teacher Academies, representatives from various Educator Preparation Programs, and the DOE to discuss teacher career pathways, including recruitment.