At a recent Portland-area teacher job fair, Oregon’s largest school district was hiring for an anticipated 400 teachers – the most they’re hired in more than a decade.
Most Oregon school districts have hired few teachers over the past several years. Eliminating jobs and cutting teaching positions were the norm during the Great Recession. Things have changed dramatically.
According to the Oregon State Employment Division, Oregon’s job growth rate hit its fastest pace in eight years. In fact, Oregon is currently adding jobs at a faster rate than the rest of the country – growing at 2.6 percent compared to the national average of 1.7 percent. In terms of numbers, Oregon added 15,000 jobs in the past two months, the fastest growth rate since 2005.
Thanks to a wave of retirements and an increase in state education funding, new teachers are a big part of those positive job growth numbers.
What’s more, according to school district recruiters, the caliber of those graduating with a teaching degree is higher than ever, with universities paying more attention to what schools need in a starting teacher.
The Concordia difference.
Developing the next generation of teachers has been a cornerstone of Concordia’s academic purpose for more than 100 years. Here, the road to becoming a teacher begins with hands-on classroom experience your very first semester. By the time you complete your student teaching as a senior, you’ll have all the necessary skills to be prepared for your first day in a classroom of your own. Because of the way our program is structured, graduates will be eligible to receive their State of Oregon Initial I teaching license without additional coursework.
Best of all, our education program is well-known and highly respected throughout the Northwest. Concordia graduates are known for their ability to hit the ground running, well-prepared for the countless rewards and challenges of being a teacher. In fact, every year we have school districts from around the region contacting the College of Education seeking Concordia graduates. In a competitive job market, having an edge like this can be a true asset.