BOISE - Idaho schools are facing a massive teacher shortage with an estimated 20 percent of teachers expected to retire in the next five years. But, there is more than one way to get certified, besides going back to school.
If you have a bachelor's degree that you haven't really put to use, this could be an opportunity to do just that.
With a B.A. in hand, you could potentially get on the fast-track to earning your certification in a matter of months.
Those with the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence, or ABCTE, held two open, informational sessions at the main Boise Public Library Saturday.
Through their self-paced, online course, certification can be obtained in 7-10 months.
It's a new way for school districts to draw from talent within their communities that's already there to fill high demand positions in the STEM fields and special education.
All that's required is that you already have a bachelor's degree and can pass a background check.
"We've all had other careers, and we have this passion to teach. Our children are grown, we're in a good spot and we're ready for that career that lights us up," says Lisa Howell, ABCTE program director. "So, that's why people are going in... it's not to make a million dollars. It's not about the pay, it's about the passion."
After choosing a path to go down in education through the course, you will learn how to become a teacher.
A Boise State University senior from Caldwell was in attendance. Steve Larson thought the certification price was affordable and something that could be a good compliment to his English degree.
"I just really like education and the subject of English. I'm really passionate about it," he says. "So, it's just something I want to do and be involved with and am excited to help students and have a positive impact."
The program director says 85 percent of those who complete the program stick with it, which she says is a win-win for all involved.
"There's a part for the traditionally trained and for the non-traditionally trained," Howell says. "And, both of us coming together in a building creates a very dynamic learning environment."
While there aren't any other public sessions coming up, you can schedule a one-on-one meeting with the ABCTE folks.