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Home > News & Events > Press Releases > 2009 > Teachers needed to fill critical shortages

Press Releases

Teachers needed to fill critical shortages

November 17, 2009

The U.S. Department of Labor expects the demand for school teachers to increase dramatically in the near future, creating a need for 479,000 additional teachers by 2016. In Northern Virginia, more than 1,000 new teachers are hired each year.

To help fill these vacancies, Northern Virginia Community College offers an associate degree with a teacher education specialization. The degree prepares students for transfer to a four-year institution to complete a bachelor’s degree and then teacher licensure.

Several Virginia four-year institutions helped develop the program and have agreed to accept all courses required by it. Faculty advisor Karen Sheble says graduates are well prepared to complete a bachelor’s degree.

“NOVA aligned its curriculum with the courses required by the state which means our students are taking exactly the same courses as freshmen and sophomores at the four-year institutions,” Sheble said.

Students in the program also complete 40 hours of field placement in a local school, a valuable learning experience that helps them determine if teaching is the right career for them.

Teacher education specialization classes are available at NOVA’s campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas and Woodbridge. The courses are also offered online through the Extended Learning Institute. Prospective students can learn more about the program at or by contacting Sheble at

Students who want to earn a bachelor’s degree can save thousands of dollars in tuition by completing an associate degree at NOVA and then transferring to a Virginia four-year college or university through NOVA’s guaranteed admissions agreements.

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Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 60,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through the Extended Learning Institute. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site,