For Immediate Release
All Zones
January 5, 2001
For More Information Contact:
Office of Marketing and Communications
219-980-6685
IU Northwest Offers Excellence in Education and Nursing Programs
Teacher and Nurse Shortage Opens a Field of Professional Opportunities

The Teacher Shortage 
A recent article by the Associated Press speaks to a teacher shortage threatening Indiana. According to the article, the average age of Indianaâs teachers is on the rise, with 36% of them older than the age of 50. Out of that number, 10,000 Indiana teachers could retire today with full benefits. Our next-door-neighbors in Illinois are also experiencing a teacher shortage, with an estimated 27,000 retiring by 2003. Thousands of administrative positions will be open as well. Special Education and Bilingual Education teachers are also growing deficient in numbers, while AP also reports that nationwide, about 2.2 million new teachers will be needed during the next decade, with 44,000 of them necessary in Indiana. Currently, there is a great need for science, math and special education students in Northwest Indiana. The School of Education at Indiana University Northwest is helping to close the shortage gap by offering education degrees and licensing education programs for individuals living in or near Northwest Indiana. 

IU Northwestâs School of Education prides itself on providing academic excellence in education to the Northwest Indiana community. The School offers both bachelors and masters degrees both in Elementary Education and in Secondary Education, and graduate licensure programs in School Administration. The School of Education also offers teaching endorsements in Reading, Special Education, Computers, Kindergarten, Bilingual Education, English as a Second Language (ESL), and middle school subject areas. Applauded for its work with local schools, the School also combines ãreal worldä field experience with its high standards in education programming. ãThe service-learning opportunities and extensive field experiences in local schools for our students are one of the great benefits of being in a regional environment,ä says Dr. Ken Schoon, School of Education Associate Professor. 

Specialized programs such as ESL and Special Education are important to the demands of educational systems and offer great career and service opportunities as well. An recent online article by the Washington Post spoke to a report released by the Council for Exceptional Children and commented that special education is facing ãsignificant shortages and high turnover,ä while other reports show that bilingual education teachers are down by hundreds of thousands in the United States. 

Another challenge in the field of education is addressing the need for more teachers in the urban environment. IU Northwestâs School of Education is in the forefront of the issue by offering the Urban Teacher Education Program (UTEP). A field-based certification program, UTEP prepares teachers for the challenges of an urban classroom. As part of UTEP, Option II is available to students with bachelor degrees outside the field of Education who are interested in teaching in urban areas. Option II offers Indianaâs only alternate route to certification, and is an award-winning certification program at the graduate level that can lead to a masterâs degree in secondary education. 

The School of Educationâs commitment to professional education with high standards was recently reaffirmed when the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) continued accreditation for the School when it recently met meeting all 20 of the Councilâs rigorous standards. 

ãWe are very pleased with the outcome. The accreditation gives credence to the very high standards we apply to our programs,ä says School of Education Dean, Dr. Stanley Wigle. He adds that the School is also accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, while the Indiana Professional Standards Board has approved programs for teacher and administrative licensing through bachelors and masters levels 

Dr. Wigle sees IU Northwestâs School of Education as a positive force in helping to overcome the teacher shortage problem. ãBut more than that,ä he adds, ãI also see the Schoolâs programs helping students become excellent teachers ö which is today, a significant career opportunity as well.ä 

For more information on the IU Northwest School of Education degree and licensing programs go tondiana University School of Nursing at Indiana University Northwest offers academic excellence and flexible scheduling that go hand-in-hand. 

School of Nursing Dean, Dr. Linda Rooda, says the Fast Track Mobility Options offered at IU Northwest are in response to the need for nursing students to receive a quality education while maintaining a flexible schedule.  LPN to ASN and RN to BSN mobility options are both offered at IU Northwest. The LPN can receive an associate of science in nursing, while RNs can obtain a bachelor of science in nursing at an accelerated and flexible pace. In addition, both generic ASN and BSN degree programs are offered. Either way, the nursing education programs at IU Northwest offer academic excellence, paving the way to achieve the many professional career opportunities offered in nursing, adds Rooda. 

Recently the School of Nursing at IU Northwest received kudos for their continued accreditation with the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) for both their associate and baccalaureate degree programs. The accreditation is for eight years, the maximum number of years awarded by the Commission. The variety of degree options offered by the School emphasize the need to educate and prepare nurses to not only be knowledgeable about health and disease, but to make sound business decisions and be ãtechnology savvy.  ãThe curricula for both the associate and baccalaureate degree programs are designed to prepare nurses to practice in the 21st century,ä says Dr. Rooda. 

 ãThe days of doctorsâ Îhandmaidensâ are long gone,ä adds Linda Delunas, School of Nursing assistant professor. ãThe complexity of todayâs health care require nurses who know technology, able to critically think through problems to arrive at a workable and cost-effective solutions, and who are able to communicate and function in a culturally diverse environment.ä 

More information on the IU School of Nursing at IU Northwest is at http://www.iun.edu/nursing/ or by telephone at 219-980-6603.

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