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Understanding the Teacher Pipeline for Indiana's K–12 Public Schools

Region:
Midwest
Description:

Leaders at the Indiana Commission for Higher Education and the Indiana Department of Education are concerned about teacher shortages and want a better understanding of the educator pipeline for Indiana's K–12 public schools. This study examined the characteristics and outcomes for three cohorts of undergraduate education student in Indiana's public colleges and universities. This study used longitudinal data for undergraduate education students in the 2010/11–2012/13 cohorts. The study team calculated the proportion of undergraduate education students who completed a bachelor's degree in education, the proportion of degree completers who earned an initial instructional license, and the proportion of those with licenses who entered teaching in Indiana's K–12 public schools, describing the demographic characteristics and academic preparation for students who reached those milestones. For those who entered teaching in Indiana's K–12 public schools, the study team also described their retention and evaluation ratings in their first three years of teaching. The study team used statistical models to examine the extent to which completing a bachelor's degree in education was related to individual and institutional factors. The study found that 41 percent of the undergraduate students completed a bachelor's degree in education by 2017/18; among the completers, 55 percent earned an initial instructional license; and among those licensed, 69 percent entered teaching in Indiana public schools. Compared with the initial group of students entering education programs, students who completed a bachelor's degree, those who earned initial instructional licenses, and those who entered teaching in Indiana public schools were less likely to be from racial/ethnic minority groups or have been eligible for the national school lunch program in high school. The study found that students who entered an education program in their third year of college or later had a lower probability of completing an education degree than students who entered an education program in their first year of college. Students who received Indiana's 21st Century Scholarship in their first year of college or who received financial aid beyond their first year were more likely to complete a bachelor's degree in education. However, students who received a Pell Grant were less likely to complete a bachelor's degree in education. State and teacher education leaders in Indiana may want to prioritize strategies that increase diversity in teacher pipelines and consider a holistic approach to support students from low-income backgrounds which includes both increasing financial aid support to these students and expanding other support resources for them. Higher education institutions may want to encourage students to enroll in education program early in their college years and offer supports to assist students in making informed decisions about majors early on.

Publication Type:
Descriptive Study
Online Availability:
Publication Date:
March 2021