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University of Indianapolis hosts Teacher Prep Academy in hopes of reducing teacher shortages

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Posted at 6:21 PM, Jun 05, 2024

INDIANAPOLIS — A drastic teacher’s shortage is impacting classrooms and kids nationwide, including here in the Hoosier state. In fact, Indiana has more than 2,200 teacher job openings right now.

The University of Indianapolis is hoping to fill some of those openings by getting high school students more interested in the education field.

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30 students from 11 different schools in Indianapolis are taking part in UIndy's Teacher Prep Academy. The students live and eat on campus for a week, and they take a dual credit class.

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"I have a lot of teachers that have made a really big impact on my life,” Lucy Len Dim, an incoming Junior at Southport High School, said. “I wouldn't have a growth mindset, I wouldn't have developed my work ethic to what it is today. I want to make sure that I am cultivating students like that as well.”

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Len Dim plans on going to college to be a teacher.

She says she has younger siblings who have inspired her to take that career path. They have helped her grow her passion for kids, which is the main reason she wants to become a teacher.

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“Teachers are the reason why we have doctors and lawyers. They just create us as people and I am getting a little emotional about it because I am so passionate about it,” Len Dim said.

Each student that takes part in the academy gets three college credits. UIndy says those credits transfer anywhere.

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The program was made possible by a grant from the Indiana Department of Education.

A portion of that grant is also focused on increasing dual credit options for students and changing the stigma around teaching.

The coordinator of the prep academy says there has recently been a negative spotlight put on the profession as of late. So, they are working to change that by highlighting the importance of teachers and the education system.

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They say since getting this grant and expanding options for students, more of them seem interested in the profession.

"We went from about 80 high school students enrolled in education courses to 500 students enrolled in education courses,” Kelley Carnagua, the Attract, Prepare and Retain Grant Manager at UIndy, said. “So, that was a big improvement in this last year."
 

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UIndy offers dual credit courses to 11 partnering school districts. This is the second year they have offered the Teacher Prep Academy. They hope to offer the program for years to come.

For more information on the program, click here.