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Teacher education programs continue record growth in challenging environment

Despite the challenges facing educators, from budget limitations and government mandates to teaching both in-person and online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Trine University continues to see significant growth in its teacher education program.

Trine has 183 students enrolled this fall in its Franks School of Education. That’s more than double the 82 enrolled just four years ago.

Anthony Kline, Ph.D., dean of the Franks School of Education, attributed the enrollment rise to the school’s “visionary, student-centered faculty and staff, and close collaboration with excellent K-12 educators in the region.”

“We work hard to equip our passionate teacher candidates with additional certifications such as Google Classroom and Project Lead the Way before graduation, which they and their families appreciate as one of the many value-added components within our unique teacher training programs,” said Kline.

The high quality of Trine’s teacher candidates and graduates also has attracted financial support from the school, which has received more than $660,000 in grants and gifts in recent years, Kline said.

“This funding allows us to enhance our programming and facilities, attracting more students and allowing us to produce more high-quality educators,” Kline said.

The need for such educators continues to grow. A Sept. 3 article by the nonprofit Hechinger Report warns that schools across the nation may face historic teacher shortages as schools start to reopen following the pandemic.

“Trine University and the Franks School of Education are doing everything possible to meet the need for educators with graduates who want to impact the lives of students and are equipped for these challenging times,” said Kline.

The university also continues to innovate by adding unique programs to meet the needs of schools across the nation. Earlier this year, the Franks School of Education announced plans to launch Indiana’s first Montessori teacher education degree program, to help meet the growing need for teachers with Montessori credentials.

Trine’s Montessori teacher education program will be one of only a few undergraduate programs in the nation offered at the university level, and will provide training that leads toward state-recognized Montessori licensure for both undergraduate students and teachers already in the field.

Photo: Alison Todd, left, assistant professor in Trine University’s Franks School of Education, teaches students in in the Shambaugh 204 classroom on the Trine campus, one of several classrooms in the building renovated to reflect current teaching methods and technology. Trine’s education school continues to see record enrollment, having more than doubled in size since 2016. (Photo by Dean Orewiler)