Schools of education in the state have begun to see their enrollment numbers decline. Officials say changes in education policy may be to blame.
Aspiring educators could be discouraged from entering the profession if they’re worried about teacher layoffs and shrinking benefit packages, according to IU School of Education Dean Gerardo Gonzalez, who says both state and nationally there is a decrease in education enrollment.
“The number of students that we admitted last year decreased by about also 10 percent, so we have not been immune from the decreases that are taking place around the state,” he says. “This is a national phenomenon, but our decreases have been smaller than some of the decreases reported than some of our other institutions in the state.”.
IU’s enrollment is off 4 percent from 2011.
Indiana State University’s Dean, Bayh College of Education Brad Balch says Indiana is one of 19 states that have more than 50 percent of its teachers are eligible for retirement or will be eligible within the next 10 years.
Balch says over the past decade, the number of students in ISU’s School of Education has been relatively stable, but there has been a drop this year.
“If we take a year by year snap shot we’ve seen slight increases and decreases, looking at 2008-2012 we’ve seen about a 2 percent increase over that period of time,” he says. “If we look at this year’s group compared to 2011 group we’ve seen a 4 percent decrease.”
Ball State University has also seen the number of students enrolled in its school of education decrease since 2008.