COLORADO SPRINGS — It's an ongoing issue in Colorado - there's a major shortage of teachers in the state.
However, a nationwide effort is trying to change this and also help veterans.
It's known as the Troops to Teachers program. Staff members say the program has been around since the early 1990s and since then it's provided 90,000 service members across the United States with the opportunity to get into a classroom after they leave the military. They shared that every month 600 service members are leaving Colorado military bases and about 25% of those people are looking at a career in education. The program is providing a pathway for those people to become a teacher or get an educational support position.
Korey Brown, principal consultant for Troops to Teachers, said, "Research will show that military service members leaving the military have a knack to teach so one of the reasons they want to get into the classroom is one - to serve again, but also to expound on their knowledge that they've learned in the service and mentor kids."
Brown says in order for veterans to become a teacher they either need to get a four-year degree or already have one from another institution, and/or show competency through a state exam. Troops to Teachers helps with all of this as well as financial assistance to eligible candidates.
Mount Carmel Veterans Service Center is partnering with Troops to Teachers and hosting a seminar for anyone interested. That's going on Thursday night from 5-7 p.m.