Ohio University Bucks Trend in Teaching Enrollments

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The number of students in Ohio graduating with degrees in education dropped by a quarter since the 2003-2004 school year, according to the Columbus Dispatch. However, Ohio University’s Patton College of Education, which has increased admission requirements, has also seen an increase in students enrolling in the program.

Frans Doppen, chair of teacher education at Ohio University, said that although students are now required to have a 3.0 GPA, the partnerships students enjoy with public schools and clinical models are strong incentives to enter the program. Doppen said those benefits are keeping nearly 300 students a year coming through the doors of the education department.

But Doppen does recognize the statewide drop in education degrees and attributes that to how much money students will make once they graduate. Also holding back prospective education majors are the view of teaching as a low status profession and increasing demands on teachers.

“I think it has a lot to do with standardized testing,” education major A.J. Divito said. “A lot of that is being put on the teachers.”

But education major Blake Kochensparger sees the reduction in education majors as good for this job prospects.

“The job market is already there for us,” Koochensparger said, “With the decrease of degrees I feel like it will be easier to pick up jobs.”

The job prospects are even brighter for students specializing in high-demand majors such as math and science.  Ohio University’s Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship for STEM has prepared 30 graduates to teach science, technology, engineering and mathematics since 2012.

While the statewide decrease in education majors does not seem to be affecting Ohio University, the College of Education is working to increase the number graduating from the program by monitoring its successes and requiring extensive training for future students.