LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – Nevada ranks number one for teacher shortages, according to recent studies.
The Clark County School District told 8 News they have 1,151 teacher vacancies as of October 16, 2023.
There is an online program called iteach working to address the issue, and already clearing the whiteboard for more educators.
iteach is an expedited, self-paced program people of different backgrounds with a bachelor’s degree can use to prepare for state exams and licensure.
Third-grade teacher Christina Day was a substitute for five years at Hickey Elementary in the Northeast Valley.
She’s spent a year with her conditional alternative route license.
Day said being an educator is her calling, one that came after earning a degree in criminal justice and working with foster kids.
“I see them for seven hours a day, we have a close bond,” she said. “It was something that kept calling me, I kept coming back to teach.” She heard about iteach from the handful of other teachers who pursued the program.
iteach President, Andrew Rozell, explained the program opens a pipeline for people who might never have thought about teaching.
The year-long program is $4,399, not including exam or license fees.
Applicants spend up to 12 weeks online with self-paced coursework. After that, they must pass a state praxis exam, teach with their conditional license for a year, and get mentored by local teachers.
On top of that, they earn a full first year of teacher pay.
Following the year of supervised teaching, the teacher-to-be takes another exam and applies for their full license.
Day’s students gushed over their teacher Monday morning.
She earned CCSD’s New Educator of the Year Award in 2023. She said representation and her own challenges in class led her down this road.
“When I was younger, I had issues reading and there was a teacher who looked like me, an African-American young woman, Day said. “She helped me every day with my reading and before I knew it, I was able to read chapter books. I share that story with my students.”
Day got her master’s degree in August to go into administration.
Since 2019, 400 teachers entered CCSD through iteach, placed in more than 185 CCSD schools.
iteach is not the only alternative route. CCSD has a full list of programs.