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  • Writer's pictureReach University

Stand Together Presents: The great American teacher shortage — and how to stop it

Reach University's partner, Stand Together, poses an important question in its latest video series highlighting changemakers across the country:"There’s no shortage of people who want to become teachers. So why is there still a teacher shortage in America?"

Dr. Mallory Dwinal-Palisch, Chancellor of Reach University and CEO of Craft Education System, knows the answer is hidden in plain sight.

With over a million paraprofessionals currently working in classrooms across the country, who want to be a teacher but a bachelor's degree stands between them and their dream career, a simple piece of paper is preventing schools from tapping into the highest-potential labor pipeline in the U.S.

Reach University is working to change this through its paid, on-the-job apprenticeship degree program, currently deployed across 250 rural and low-income districts, upskilling 1,300 paraprofessionals into qualified teachers. And proving it's never too late to pursue your dreams.

“What I look forward to most, more than anything, is for my kids to see me put my tassel on the other side of my hat because this has been a journey. And one that I’m very proud of. It shows them that if Mom can, you can. And it doesn’t matter how big that mountain is. We’re going to climb it together,” shares Arlie Price, a paraprofessional in Arkansas' Russellville School District.

Reach is on a path to enroll 10,000 teacher apprentices in four years, offering states such as Louisiana, where 75% of all parishes and districts, and Arkansas, where 100% of all education service cooperatives, are using Reach's job-embedded teacher training program to solve its qualified teacher shortage once and for all. And education is only the beginning. The Reach Method can be applied towards solving the labor shortage in any industry.

“I have seen what great teachers do for their kids, and if we can get those individuals into every classroom, and give them the respect and resources that they deserve, then we can end teacher shortages once and for all. It's hard to put into words the life changing potential that could have for our students and our schools,” shared Chancellor Dwinal-Palisch.

Watch the full video here.

Reach teacher candidate, Arlie Price, in her Russellville City School district. All images care-of Stand Together.

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