News Archive

Teacher Shortage: Nazareth Success to Prepare Students for Classrooms

Published March 02, 2018

As the New York State teacher shortage continues in districts across the state and in the Rochester, N.Y. area, Nazareth College is ready to get future teachers into the classroom prepared. New York State could need as many as 180,000 teachers in the next decade, as 32 percent of current teachers retire in the next five years.

According to the NYSUT (New York State United Teachers) the teacher shortage is hitting school districts big and small. New York State is experiencing shortages, especially in a growing number of high-need subject areas, such as bilingual education and special education. Shortage areas in New York state also include early childhood, elementary, English as a second language, art, reading/literacy, social studies, English Language Arts, music, math, and sciences — all degrees available at Nazareth.

Schools have such a teacher shortage that Anjoli Moise ‘18G — while earning a Nazareth master’s degree in special ed and only thinking of working as a sub — was recruited to be a full-time kindergarten teacher at Rochester’s School No. 5.

"We sounded the alarm on the looming shortage and it's getting a lot of attention now," said NYSUT Executive Vice President and Nazareth College master's in education graduate Jolene DiBrango. "I talk about this everywhere I go because we want to focus on concrete things we can do."

Nazareth College is well known for its School of Education and its strong teacher preparation. In fact, many teachers in the Rochester area and beyond are Nazareth alumni. Yet, across New York state, there is a 49% drop in college students enrolled in teacher education programs.

Nazareth wants to change that.

"Every teacher we produce is going to impact hundreds, if not thousands, of children's or young adults' lives," said Nazareth School of Education Dean Kate DaBoll-Lavoie. "Our Nazareth education programs are built to help each student become exactly the teacher they're meant to be and what students need. We work with our Pre K - grade 12 partners to ensure that we have programs that will meet the shortage area needs."

Penfield High School teacher and Nazareth education graduate Laura Streeter knows Nazareth is sought after for student teachers. "When I was applying to Nazareth, I knew if I was going to go for teaching, I wanted to go to the place that would give me the best opportunities, and I really believe that is Nazareth."

Nazareth graduates and student teachers stand out to school principals. "What we notice right away about graduates of the program is that they've been taught, they're on the cutting edge," said Marc Nelson, Principal of Harris Hill Elementary School. "Nazareth students are ready and willing to put it into action, they bring it right away from day one."

"One of the most exciting aspects of my job," says Dean DaBoll-Lavoie, "is when I can walk into a school and see our alums teaching and working with children, and the impact they have on children's lives."

Many times the best ambassadors for the profession are Nazareth education alumni and teachers themselves.

"Never underestimate the personal touch," DiBrango said. "We all know kids who would make a great teacher. We need to be on the lookout and start tapping them on the shoulder," she said. "There's no better recruiter."

Pursue teaching


For More Information

Julie Long | Nazareth Chief Public Relations Officer | (585) 389-2456 |

Graduate Education Programs

Nazareth College’s academic strengths cross an unusually broad spectrum of 60 majors, including education, health and human services, management, the fine arts, music, theater, math and science, foreign languages, and the liberal arts. The coeducational, religiously independent, classic campus in a charming suburb of Rochester, N.Y., challenges and supports 2,300 undergrads and 700 graduate students. Nazareth is recognized nationally for its Fulbright global student scholars and commitment to civic engagement. Rigorous programs, an uncommon arts and sciences core, experiential learning, career skills, and a global focus prepare graduates for not just one job, but for their life’s work.