California Center on Teaching Careers receives Technology Innovation Award for virtual job fairs, online application that matches teachers with jobs
TULARE COUNTY – A program tasked with solving California’s teaching shortage through better recruitment and retention practices just got some welcome, yet unexpected publicity.
Earlier this summer, the Tulare County Office of Education’s California Center on Teaching Careers (CCTC) was awarded the Technical Innovation Award from the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA). CCSESA recognized the center for its work in developing numerous virtual job fairs during the 2018-19 school year and for creating an online application that matches teachers and interns with districts, county offices and/or credentialing programs based on the users’ profiles and preferences.
CCTC provides teacher development and recruitment support through its lead center in Tulare County and satellite centers in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Shasta, Sonoma, and Ventura counties. The goal of The Center is to increase California’s teacher workforce, particularly in the recruitment of ethnically diverse and bilingual math, science, and special education teachers.
Three-quarters of all California school districts report difficulties in recruiting teachers, and enrollment in teacher preparation programs in California has dropped by more than 70 percent over the past decade. More than 30 percent of teachers in California leave the profession within five years, and the impending retirement of California’s Baby Boomer generation of teachers will make the challenge even worse. The issue is compounded in the Central Valley, and more specifically in Tulare County, where Glassman-Sommer said the problem is projected to be exponentially worse. Several issues compound the teacher shortage in Tulare County, such as the inability to recruit young professionals from out of the area in addition to the statewide problems of retirement and promoting good teachers into administrative roles.
The goal is for the center to become the hub for teacher recruitment and retention. The organization will work to reach more candidates and attract them to the teaching profession through statewide Public Service Announcements, as well as cutting-edge tools such as virtual messages through AVATARs (Animated Virtual Assistant for Teaching Awareness and Resources). CCTC will guide interested individuals through the process of training and certification to ensure that every classroom is led by a skilled teacher. The center’s Vortal (vertical digital portal) at CaliforniaTeach.org is a personalized, virtual tool for finding information on different pathways, accessing opportunities and enrolling in programs.