TEACH Colorado is a statewide, cross-sector effort from education institutions, business, government, philanthropy and nonprofit stakeholders to improve the perception of teaching and recruit the next generation of teachers in Colorado. TEACH Colorado’s statewide partners include the Colorado Association of School Executives (CASE), Colorado Department of Education (CDE), Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE), Colorado Education Association (CEA), Colorado Education Initiative (CEI), Colorado Workforce Development Council (CWDC), Landed, Public Education Business Coalition (PEBC), Rose Community Foundation and TEACH.
TEACH Colorado will officially launch in the summer of 2019. All Colorado school districts, charters, and educator preparation programs will be invited to join.
In addition to statewide partnerships, the foundation of TEACH Colorado will be the tech-forward teacher recruitment infrastructure that (a) identifies “prospects” who are open to teaching; (b) cultivates their interest by showing them how teaching meets what they want in a career; (c) converts them into EPP applicants by providing supports and resources.
WHAT WILL TEACH COLORADO DO?
The purpose of TEACH Colorado is to create a one-stop shop that ignites interest and guides people into the profession of teaching. This will be accomplished through:
- A statewide PSA ad campaign
- A direct outreach campaign on college and high school campuses
- Digital media and online experiences
- A “Talk-to-a-Teacher” program
- Events and programming that expose prospects to teaching.
These resources will inspire prospective teachers to join the profession, dispel misperceptions, and support the steps they need to take to enter the profession (i.e., get training, finance the training program, earn a professional credential, find a job). TEACH Colorado will provide marketing and technology systems to power a tech-forward teacher recruitment infrastructure that leverages Colorado’s existing efforts and will:
- Invite all Educator Preparation Programs (EPPs), school districts, and charter schools to participate and benefit from the shared infrastructure;
- Coordinate teacher recruitment programs and unite communications to prospective teachers;
- Overcome misperceptions about teaching and counter negative narratives; and
- Gather data for continuous improvement, while incorporating lessons learned and best practices from other TEACH regions across the county.
TEACH COLORADO PARTNERS
WHY IS TEACH COLORADO NEEDED?
In 2017, according to a CDE survey, over 80% of school districts in Colorado reported that they had fewer applicants for open teacher positions than the year before and that they still had unfilled positions at the beginning of the school year. Of urban/suburban districts, 66% reported that they filled open positions with long-term substitutes and 77% reported they hired alternative or emergency candidates. In the current 2018-19 school year, there are over 3,000 unfiled teacher positions in Colorado.
There is also a need to increase diversity in the teaching profession. Many urban districts are struggling to find teachers that reflect the cultural and linguistic diversity of their students, and rural districts are having difficulties identifying teachers who have training to support the unique challenges their students face. Furthermore, as the student population has become more diverse, the teaching population has not. In 2016-17, 12% of teachers in Colorado were people of color, while 46% of the student population were.
At the same time, teacher prep programs in Colorado have experienced a 24% decline in enrollment over the past seven years and are not producing enough teachers to meet demand. In 2015, only 3,268 new teachers graduated from Colorado EPPs, while districts in the state hired over 9,000 new teachers. Research shows that teachers are the number one most impactful factor on student success. If these trends continue, Colorado schools will struggle to provide their students with the education they deserve.
BECOMING A TEACH COLORADO PARTNER
There is no cost to join TEACH Colorado. All Colorado Local Education Agencies (LEAs), Charter Management Organizations, Educator Preparation Programs (EPPs)—both Institutes of Higher Education and Designated Agencies are invited to join the TEACH Colorado partnership.
Organizations and businesses that are mission-aligned are invited to sign on as an Endorsing Partner. All TEACH Colorado partners will be featured on the TEACH Colorado portal and in promotion materials.
BENEFIT TO SCHOOL DISTRICTS & EDUCATION PREP PROVIDERS
School Districts and Charter Management Organizations —TEACH Colorado will provide tools and resources to help LEAs identify and cultivate the interest of their students, alumni, and community who are interested in a teaching career. Partner LEAs will have their district profile posted on TEACH Colorado.
Educator Preparation Programs (EPPs)—Both Institutes of Higher Education and Designated Agencies can increase the size and diversity of their applicant pools through statewide exposure of their educator preparation program. Partner EPPs will have their school profile posted on TEACH Colorado.
Teach.org’s multi-touch recruitment model is proving effective in other states and regions. For example, over the past year, TEACH Dallas Fort Worth reported:
- 60% of its 3,000 subscribers reported a moderate or significant increase in their interest in teaching.
- Subscribers who used TeachDFW’s “Become a Teacher” tools and services were 39% more likely to submit an application to an educator preparation provider (EPP).
- 380 submitted applications to EPPs.
For more information or to find out how you can become a TEACH Colorado partner, please contact:
Interim Senior Program Manager for TEACH Colorado