Radford University takes action on teacher shortage

‘This is an opportunity to get hands on apprenticeship experience, and then go to work where you’re needed most in Southwest Virginia classrooms’

RADFORD, Va. – Radford University has partnered with local school divisions to help resolve the growing teacher shortage.

“This apprenticeship program will allow us to get licensed qualified teachers into classrooms where they’ll be serving the communities that they come from and that’s the really special part,” said Patrick Reed, director of executive communications for Radford University.

He said the program is already in full swing with potential educators.

“The program has already brought on its first seven apprentices,” said Reed. “By May of 2025, they will have full licensure to teach in a Virginia classroom and teach specifically in southwest Virginia.”

He said with how many benefits this provides for students, this is an exciting time for Radford.

“This is what we do at Radford University,” said Reed. “We put our students in a position to have professional opportunities from day one.”

The need for educators in this region is needed. I talked to the Pulaski County Public Schools superintendent and said this program could really help.

“Being involved in several different committees on teacher recruitment and retention, I can tell you it’s as bad as it’s been in a very very long time,” said Rob Graham.

He said the way to tackle the teacher shortage is to prioritize the teachers.

“Put them at the forefront,” said Graham. “They have to be a priority for us because they are teaching tomorrow.”

Reed said this is part of Radford University’s identity of public investment in public institutions.

About the Author

Thomas grew up right here in Roanoke and is a graduate of Salem High School and Virginia Tech.

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