To fill teacher jobs, community colleges offer new degrees
In her second-grade classroom outside Seattle, Fatima Nuñez Ardon often tells her students stories about everyday people realizing their dreams. One day, for example, she talked about Salvadoran American NASA astronaut Francisco Rubio and his journey to the International Space Station.
Another day, she told them her own life story — how she, an El Salvadoran immigrant who arrived in the U.S. in middle school speaking very little English, came to be a teacher.
Nuñez Ardon took an unusual path to the classroom: She earned her teaching degree through evening classes at a community college, while living at home and raising her four children.
Community college-based teaching programs like this are rare, but growing. They can dramatically cut the cost and raise the convenience of earning a teaching degree, while making a job in education accessible to a wider diversity of people.