Enrollment by year
Source: Mark Lora, assessment systems analyst for Teachers College
Enrollment for teacher education programs has decreased 15 percent from fall 2012 to fall 2014, according to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness, instead of the 25 percent initially reported. In 2014, 1,930 students were enrolled in the programs, which is down from 2,085 in 2013 and 2,273 in the fall of 2012.
The Daily News was previously given incorrect numbers by Mark Lora, assessment systems analyst of Teachers College.
*Editor's note: The Daily News was given incorrect enrollment numbers by the dean of the Teachers College John Jacobson. The story will be changed to reflect the correct numbers when they are given to the Daily News.
Student enrollment in the teacher education program has declined 25 percent, said the dean of Teachers College.
The trend isn’t unique to Ball State. John Jacobson, the dean of Teachers College, said other Indiana schools like Indiana University and Purdue, as well as universities outside of the state, have seen dropping enrollment as well.
In the 2009-2010 school year, 3,590 students were enrolled in Teachers College, according to data from Mark Lora, assessment systems analyst of Teachers College. This school year, there are 1,326 students enrolled.
Since Ball State was originally a college for teachers, Jacobson said the dropping enrollment would also have an effect on the university as a whole.
"The Teachers College was the first college, and therefore the roots of Ball State are very deep in teacher preparation," he said.
Some of the falling numbers could just be attributed to the changing times.
“There are lots of options for young people to go into now,” he said. “It used to be when I was growing up that women in the workplace was mainly nursing, education, secretarial, that sort of thing. And now all the professions are open to women, but that means that there are less going into education.”
He said another reason for dropping enrollment could be that teachers are not encouraging their students to go into the profession.
“I think kids in schools nowadays they say, ‘Why would I be a teacher? This is not an exciting thing,’” Jacobson said. “There’s a lot of challenges to classroom management, to authority, so the respect is not there. And of course young people want to choose a profession that they feel is respected.”
He said the respect for teachers has diminished over time.
With more students being in debt after they graduate, Jacobson also said looking at money was another factor in not choosing to go into education.
“The cost of education has gone up and when you get out, teachers don’t make that much,” Jacobson said. “So why put yourself in danger financially taking years and years to pay off a debt when maybe if you choose another profession, it would take maybe one of two years to pay off?”
As a part of the National Education Association's student debt awareness week, the university is hosting an event called Degrees Not Debt from11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday in the Teachers College lobby.
"The main goal of this event is to raise awareness of the options students have for loan repayment and ways to lower payments," said Bianka Teeters, president of the Student Education Association. "Costs of schooling keeps increasing, and we want degrees not debt."
Natalie Shan, a junior elementary education major, said while she was concerned about student debt and the education reforms going on, her worries don't have any impact on her passion to become a teacher.
"My passion for teaching proves that it’s enough," Shan said. "It’s going to be really hard, it’s not going to be as easy as people think, but I am ready for the risk, and I’m ready to be successful, and I’m ready to have a classroom with wonderful kids."
She said she hoped her job would be enough to keep her happy, despite the worry of student debt.
Even so, she is planning on looking for another job during the summer to supplement her teaching income.
But that doesn't matter to Shan right now.
"I am really inspired to help kids grow and see how they express themselves," she said. "I have two little brothers, so they definitely inspired me to try to work with kids their age, and two of my grandparents were teachers, and they inspired me and guided me through this process of becoming a teacher."