PA Students Aren't Going Into Teaching

02.17.14 | Sarah Harnisch

In an era of layoffs, high-stakes testing and crowded classrooms, many college students in Pennsylvania are saying no thanks to careers in education. All across the state, at public and private institutions, the number of students enrolled in education programs has plummeted. Nowhere is this more apparent than at the state-owned universities which were founded in the 19th century to train teachers for Pennsylvania schools.  In fall 2004, there were 18,685 students enrolled as education majors at the 14 schools in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. By last fall, that number had dropped a third to 12,569, a rate that far exceeds the overall drop in students attending college. The decline has been so precipitous it has forced colleges to slash their professor ranks and drop programs. It also has professors at public and private colleges trying to assure students that a teaching degree is still valued.