Where have all the teachers gone?That’s a question that many are asking as North Carolina experiences a teacher shortage due to many circumstances including a large number of people moving into the state because of the military bases and the large number of teachers that are eligible to retire. “The problem isn’t just the shortage, the problem is the lack of interest in teaching,” said Dr. Sam Engel, assistant dean and Associate Professor of the School of Education at Campbell University. Each year North Carolina has 10,000 – 11,000 teacher positions opened; however, the colleges are only producing 3,300 teachers. Annually this gap means there are more than 7,000 job openings. Campbell University is providing ways to help the state of North Carolina with this problem. “We have a large teacher education program for a private school,” said Janet Powell, Assistant Professor of the School of Education. “We have many candidates in our graduate program earning a teaching license. Campbell has more graduates currently teaching in North Carolina than any other private teacher education program.” Prospective students are coming from Pennsylvania and Maryland because of the surplus of teachers in those areas. The students find they are more likely to get a job here than at home. “During visitation day we try to emphasize that when you have finished your degree you will immedialty have a job,” said Engel. Most colleges in North Carolina including Campbell offer a lateral entry program. The student can begin teaching in a classroom while gaining their licensure. Campbell has graduated hundreds of lateral entry teachers over the last few years. This helps alleviate the problem locally. “The students always say they feel so prepared for the classroom,” said Engel. “I think this has to do with the staff. They have all been teachers or principals. The proximity to the classroom helps us to teach the students.” For more information about the School of Education contact Tereca Batts at (910) 893-1631.