CU Boulder Guarantees Admission for High School Students Who Study Education
Some Colorado high school students can now guarantee their admission to the University of Colorado’s School of Education for next year.
CU partnered with two concurrent enrollment programs, Teacher Cadet and Pathways2Teaching, to extend the admissions guarantee, according to a CU news release Thursday. Both programs offer college readiness courses and a way for students to learn about teaching as a career path.
To qualify for the admissions guarantee, students must be in good standing within their programs; meet both Colorado Commission on Higher Education admission requirements and the university’s minimum academic preparation standard curriculum; maintain a B- or higher in Teacher Cadet or Pathways2Teaching courses; have a weighted high school grade-point average of 3.0 or higher; earn an ACT composite score of 22 or higher or SAT score of 1110 or higher; and complete the CU application process by Jan. 15.
CU officials said the program would help address statewide teacher shortages and create a pipeline for students to attend the university.
“Teaching is not as highly a desired profession as it used to be, so there are fewer and fewer people going into teaching across the state and across the country,” said Kathy Schultz, dean of the School of Education. “It’s a way for us ... to let high school students know that teaching is attractive, and now there’s this possibility to start working on it and working on leadership programs that are education-related while they are in college.”
The Board of Regents approved in 2016 new bachelor’s degrees in elementary education and leadership and community engagement. Those launched last year, Schultz said, and the school hired a director of admissions at the same time.
“We came up with this idea of having this agreement for students who have already started their thinking about and coursework toward teacher education while in high school, and lowering the barriers so that they are more attracted to come to these programs,” Schultz said of the admissions guarantee.
Colorado has teacher shortages in early childhood education and care; science; math; world languages; special education; and art, music and drama, according to a 2017 report by the Colorado Department of Higher Education in collaboration with the Colorado Department of Education. The state also lacks minority educators, and overall shortages are more pronounced in rural areas, according to the report. The state has had to recruit 50 percent of its educators from out-of-state.
CU officials said they would give full consideration to all students, whether they met the qualifications or not, and students’ backgrounds and experiences would be factors in decisions.
“It’s very important for us as the School of Education to take a holistic look at our students,” Schultz said. “Whereas, some other programs might be more reliant on test scores, because we’re looking at future teachers who will be in classrooms, it’s important for us to not simply look at test scores but look at the kinds of experiences students have had in the communities and in schools.”
CU Denver associate professor Margarita Bianco founded Pathways2Teaching, which allows students to explore teaching while examining issues related to educational justice, according to its website . Teacher Cadet likewise allows students to explore teaching, and it aims to develop leaders who will become civic advocates for public education, according to its website .
Collectively, the programs are available in 22 Colorado school districts, including Boulder Valley School District.
“It is inspiring to work with Teacher Cadet students as they propel forward as future educators,” Colorado Teacher Cadet director Michelle Dennis said in the news release. “The new admissions agreement with University of Colorado Boulder is a welcome opportunity that ensures Teacher Cadet students can pursue yet another path to becoming an educator.”
Cassa Niedringhaus: 303-473-1106, firstname.lastname@example.org