School districts across the United States face shortages of teachers. Many districts experience difficulty filling open positions. At the same time, the number of students pursuing education as a career and graduating with teaching degrees continues to fall. To counter these teacher workforce challenges, school leaders have developed intensive partnerships with institutions of higher education to strengthen teacher recruitment pipelines.
This brief analyzes four school districts and their partnerships with institutions of higher education. Researchers discuss multiple models of partnership between districts and universities. Contacts describe the elements of their partnerships and suggest approaches to leverage partnerships for recruitment purposes. The report also features successful teacher recruitment strategies utilized at profiled districts.
Key observations from our research
1. Partnerships between profiled school districts and institutions of higher education often begin as student teaching agreements and sometimes develop into more intensive partnerships.
2. Most intensive partnerships between profiled school districts and institutions of higher education involve frequent meetings and staff sharing agreements.
3. School districts develop agreements with partner higher education institutions to provide professional development opportunities and alternative certification pathways to their employees.
4. Districts offer specialized education classes to students interested in teaching that help those students explore teaching careers.
5. Recruiters emphasize focusing on local teacher prospects.