While many teacher education programs across the country are showing declining enrollments, the opposite is true at historically Black Bowie State University in Maryland. The number of students enrolled in bachelor’s education programs at Bowie State grew from 221 students in 2018 to 319 in 2021, almost a 50 percent increase.
Maryland, like almost all states across the nation, is facing a teacher shortage. Since 2012, the number of students pursuing education degrees in the state has plummeted by 33 percent and teacher vacancies have substantially increased due to retirement and other factors. Furthermore, the majority of Maryland’s new teachers are not representative of the student demographics in the state which have grown more diverse in recent years. Maryland’s public school population is over a third Black and 20 percent Latino.
Rhonda Jeter, dean of the College of Education at Bowie State stated that “the primary reason for our success is that we nurture and support our students who choose a career in education and offer a high-quality program at an affordable price. We also network and have developed strong partnerships with local county school systems so that they’re familiar with our curriculum and degree programs.”
Dr. Jeter added that “everyone already knows that without qualified teachers in our classrooms, students’ ability to learn diminishes drastically. That’s why our mission in the College of Education is to continuously promote teaching as an important career emphasizing to our students the dire need for them in classrooms.”