Bushnell University Helps Address Educator Shortage

EUGENE, Ore. – In response to the pressing need for educators across the state of Oregon, Bushnell University’s School of Education has embraced an innovative approach to tackle the ongoing educator shortage. Over the past 18 months there has been a significant increase in the hiring of teaching and school counseling candidates before they complete their licensure programs. Bushnell candidates have been at the forefront of this trend, stepping into roles to meet the demands of school districts statewide. 

This proactive approach not only addresses the immediate need for qualified educators but also provides invaluable hands-on experience for Bushnell candidates, enhancing their professional development while still enrolled in their licensure programs. Moreover, Bushnell University has established a collaborative partnership with local school districts, focusing on “growing your own” efforts, supplemented by scholarships, to develop and support existing employees wishing to pursue a career as a professional educator.  

For these individuals, holding a dual role as educator and college student can be quite rewarding and demanding. To help ensure success in both arenas, Bushnell works jointly with school-based personnel to ensure candidates are afforded regular opportunities to engage in meaningful and reflective conversations with their mentor and Bushnell supervisor, can strategically prioritize competing responsibilities, gain valuable field experience beyond the position they hold, and can strengthen their professional background knowledge both in the field and through their coursework. This strategic partnership aims to collaboratively support educator candidates toward successful program completion and a positive professional experience for the purposes of filling vacancies within the district while nurturing and growing future educators from within the local school community.   

Associate Dean of the School of Education, Suzanne Price, M.Ed., expressed enthusiasm about the impact of this initiative, stating, “Our partnership with local school districts demonstrates our commitment to addressing the educator shortage in Oregon. By supporting our candidates in securing employment while still in their licensure program, we not only fulfill immediate staffing needs but also foster lasting connections within the school community.” 

This collaborative effort between Bushnell University’s School of Education and the local school districts not only addresses the immediate challenges posed by the statewide educator shortage but also lays the groundwork for sustained community engagement and support for future educators. Bushnell University remains dedicated to building strong relationships within the school community and preparing educators who are equipped to meet the evolving needs of students and districts alike. 

To learn more about Bushnell’s School of Education, visit our website.

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