Fewer students interested in becoming Ontario teachers
Many universities across Ontario are having a tough time attracting students to teachers college
A massive drop in teachers college applications has universities struggling to attract students who want to become the next generation of Ontario teachers.
The University of Windsor has witnessed a 75 per cent drop in the last 10 years.
Acting education dean Karen Roland said this may be an opportunity for people who have always wanted to become a teacher.
"If this has been a lifelong dream, this may be the opportunity to fulfill this dream," said Roland. "I would like to see the halls in the faculty of education brimming with students."
Alicia DiGiovanni is a faculty of education student from Amherstburg.
She said the reason for the decline of those interested in becoming a teacher is simple.
"Probably because there's no jobs, we've had both the boards - like the public and catholic board - come to talk to us about our future and there's just not a lot out there for us right now," said DiGiovanni. "It's pretty discouraging."
Last year, more than 500 students graduated from the university's teaching program, leaving local school boards overwhelmed with applications.
The Greater Essex County District School Board hired 64 teachers in 2012, most of whom were already working as occasional teachers at the board.
The Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board hired two full-time teachers and two part-time instructors last year, who were also previously working at the board.
Fewer than 49 per cent applied to the Ontario College of Teachers this past year, compared to 2007.
The faculty is extending the deadline for applications this year to make sure seats are full by September.
Despite the decline in interest across Ontario, Roland doesn't think the school is pumping out too many teachers.
She said it's now time to get creative with hopes of increasing the number of applicants.
Roland suggests marketing a teaching degree as something more than a license to jump to the head of the class.
"Can we offer some alternative types of placements to explore other possibilities and that's something we've started to do this year," said Roland.