Career Services partnered with the University of Illinois to welcome all class level students from Colleges of Education to attend the Educator’s Job Fair from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday in the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union Ballrooms.
Diane Smith, the marketing specialist and career advisor, said Career Services advertises to school districts all throughout the country to bring them in and talk with students at job fairs, but with the current teacher shortage they had to do less advertising.
Smith said due to word getting out quickly about hosting an Educator’s Job Fair, the districts called back to reserve a spot.
“We had to shut off because we ran out of space and schools were still wanting to get in for this event,” Smith said. Over 130 school districts are participating in the upcoming Educator’s Job Fair.
Douglas Bower, the dean of the College of Education, said with teacher shortage the enrollment of students going into education fields across the country is very low right now.
“We are not producing enough teachers across the country to meet the demand and that is why we have a shortage,” Bower said.
Bower said there have also been negative public perceptions about the teaching profession.
Smith said she is encouraging undergraduate students to go to the event because of the current decline in the teaching job market and some districts are looking for positions in a couple of years.
“Where else (are) our students going to have that opportunity where all of these districts are coming and traveling to Eastern to meet with them?” Smith said. “So, it gives students an opportunity to explore the different districts and opportunities out there.”
Bower said Career Services is beginning to see increases in people going into teaching, but he said more teachers are still needed.
He said at Eastern 96 percent of their graduates have a teaching position within six months after graduation.
“They are in great demand for k-12 schools and we are still not meeting the needs of our schools,” Bower said.
Some things they are working to overcome the teacher shortage is working with the schools and doing more outreach to schools by having them encourage students about the benefits of working in school districts, he said.
Valentina Vargas can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]