With the extreme shortage of teachers and administrators in Kentucky and throughout the nation, Campbellsville University is collaborating with districts to fill their many vacancies with teachers and administrators through our various Option 6 graduate programs.
Candidates in these programs are given a temporary provisional certificate by Kentucky’s Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB) to hold jobs in schools as teachers and administrators while they complete their professional certification program with the university. In addition to coursework, candidates are provided with mentors in the district and from the university to guide them through the process of on the job learning and experiences.
Dr. Lisa Allen, Dean of the School of Education at Campbellsville, appreciates the quality of the Option 6 model her faculty and staff has developed. “We receive many reports from districts and candidates alike that our students are very successful in providing high quality instruction and services. These programs are the fastest growing in the School of Education, and I anticipate that to continue until the teacher shortage crisis subsides.”
Alice Steele, Clinical Support Specialist for the School of Education, shares that the increase in students is staggering, with 239 candidates presently enrolled in Option 6–a jump from 166 a year ago. The highest numbers are concentrated in Master of Arts in Teaching (68), Master of Arts in Teaching Interdisciplinary Early Childhood (59), Special Education LBD (49), School Counseling (45), and School Administration (12). Five private schools and ninety-two public school districts are presently served by CU’s Option 6 model.
Bryan Short, a current student and assistant principal at Lawrence County Middle School, praises the program. “The Option 6 school administration model at Campbellsville University has been an absolute blessing. Each class has been meaningful and has offered multiple insights that I have been able to apply immediately in my job duties. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be coached by such high-quality individuals who TRULY CARE about their students’ lives and careers.”
The CU School of Education currently provides thirty-two university mentors. Fourteen are SoE full-time faculty, three are CU full-time faculty in other programs, and the remainder are CU adjunct faculty or retired P-12 teachers and administrators who enjoy mentoring teacher candidates. Dr. Franklin Thomas, Assistant Chair for Graduate Programs in the School of Education, adds, “I’ve mentored our Option 6 candidates from central Kentucky to the mountains of southeastern Kentucky and I’ve been highly impressed with the great work that they are doing in the schools.”
In a current climate where the field of education needs additional qualified teachers available to meet the urgent demands, Kentucky’s Option 6 is making a difference. And at Campbellsville University, the School of Education has embraced this challenge.