Butler University is addressing Indiana’s teacher shortage through a new program designed to support new teachers, alternatively credentialed teachers, emergency-permitted teachers, or long-term substitute teachers with the training they need to succeed in the classroom. Butler’s first cohort of teachers will begin the first module of training in its “Teacher-Led, Teacher Education” program at the end of August.

According to a 2016 report from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, 8.5 percent of Indiana educators leave the field for reasons other than retirement (the third highest rate in the nation). The high attrition of educators, coupled with an insufficient pipeline of teacher candidates from bachelor’s degree programs, has led to drastic increases in alternative teaching credentials and emergency permits.

In the 2020–2021 school year in Indiana, there were 4,474 emergency permits, 419 transition to teaching permits, 11,731 substitute teacher permits, and 1,251 adjunct teacher licenses issued.

“Indiana’s K-12 schools are doing everything they can to ensure they have enough teachers for their classrooms, but it’s a struggle,” Shelly Furness, Professor in Butler University’s College of Education, said. “Our schools are filled with newly hired teachers who have great intentions and a willingness to do this important work, but simply aren’t equipped enough yet to succeed in this complex role. Our newly hired teachers and those asked to stretch beyond their preparation areas need additional training and practical support that can quickly get them up to speed and make them more effective in the classroom.”

Butler’s Teacher-Led, Teacher Education program starts with the self-paced Foundations Module, in which teachers learn the basics of lesson planning, classroom management, developmental theory, and assessment. The 6- to 8-hour training provides real, relevant, bite-sized, and actionable vocabulary and information for immediate implementation. Learning outcomes include:

  • Discovering how e-learning and technology can enrich both the physical and virtual classroom
  • Exploring developmental attributes and needs of learners ages 11–18
  • Developing plan activities, lessons, and or units
  • Understanding different types and purpose of assessment

Following completion of the Foundations Module, participants can choose to continue with one of the subject-specific modules to learn how to teach their content in a more effective manner:

  • English
  • English as a New Language
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • World Language

The Teacher-Led, Teacher Education program is available to schools and school districts for a subscription-based model with plans as low as $9,900. The program is a partnership of Butler’s College of Education and its Executive Education department. For more information, teachers and school districts can email Liz Jackson or call 317-940-9315.