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From tech to teach

With 22 of the 26 school districts in Northcentral Technical College’s area of Wisconsin expressing a need for middle school and high school technology teachers, the college has partnered with Marian University to train more educators.

The teacher candidates will be drawn from NTC’s technology programs, including architectural design, automotive, diesel, electromechanical, graphic communications, mechanical design, video production, welding fabrication, robotics and wood science, says Jeannie Worden, the college’s executive vice president of student services and regional campuses.

After two years of learning their trade at NTC to earn an associate degree and/or incorporating workforce experience, the students focus on teaching for another two years in a flexible program with online classes from Marian University, an in-class practicum with NTC, and work experience in local school districts.


LINK TO MAIN ARTICLE: Out-of-this-world STEM for middle schoolers


The university provides students with the coursework to complete a Bachelor of Science degree, to obtain a state teaching license for technology education, and with field experience and clinical placements.

Using the local workforce to build an educator talent pool is key, says Mike Endreas, administrator of the Spencer School District.

“The current trend is a steady decline in qualified candidates across the board,” he says. “In particular, we are now seeing only two to three applicants that are certified to teach technology versus nearly 20 a decade ago.”