CENTRAL NEW YORK (WSYR-TV) — New York State is continuing to see a teacher shortage and a lack of teachers in underrepresented groups. However, Cazenovia College is working to change that through a new program.

The “Grow Your Own” pathway program is now underway. Cazenovia College has partnered with Schenectady City School District, SUNY Schenectady and Clarkson University to get students interested in becoming teachers.

“SCC has been a partner with us for a long time and also the mission and the goals of our education program is to increase a number of teachers in New York State,” says Carla Deshaw, Director Continuing Education at Cazenovia College.

According to NYSUT, enrollment in state teacher education programs has decreased by more than 53 percent since 2009. Roughly a third of teachers are eligible to retire in the next five years. School districts across New York State are experiencing a teacher shortage, including our local school districts.

“Elementary positions we would normally get 20 to 30 applications. Sometimes now we’re getting two or three. So with elementary there’s more people that apply to elementary,” says Dan Bowles, Superintendent at North Syracuse Central School District.

North Syracuse Central School District is one of the district’s experiencing a teacher shortage. Bowles says some of the most difficult positions to fill are math, science, special area and special education. Another shortage North Syracuse is facing is substitute teachers. Liverpool Central School District is also feeling the impact.

“Because of COVID, because of some of the medical issues and some of the health concerns, we had a pretty significant decline in retirees signing up to be substitute teachers after they left full time employment,” says Mark Potter, Superintendent at Liverpool Central School District.

Both North Syracuse and Liverpool are actively working on recruiting, as well as looking at local college’s to recruit those studying teaching.

The “Grow Your Own” pathway program is open to students in Schenectady School District and in the Central New York community. Students enrolled in the program will receive mentoring, coaching and financial assistance throughout the process.

Click here for Schenectady School District’s full announcement of the partnership.

Information about Cazenovia College’s Inclusive Early Childhood Education can be found here.

Information about Cazenovia College’s Inclusive Elementary can be found here.

Click here for details on the college’s academic programs