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UNC’s Future Teacher Conference Introduces Students to Teaching

Earlier FTC event crowd

December 16, 2019

The University of Northern Colorado, in a never-ending quest to end the teaching shortage in Colorado and nationwide, will host the sixth annual Future Teacher Conference starting at 7:30 a.m. Friday, Feb. 21. 

This year’s capacity crowd of future teachers is a promising sign. Every year, the conference continues to grow with an expected attendance this year of around 600 high school and community college students. The keynote speaker is Tim Hernandez, the previous year’s student body president at UNC and student commencement speaker for the spring 2019 undergraduate ceremony. 

The conference offers the opportunity for students to learn more about teaching in specific areas, including early childhood, elementary and secondary education, special education, urban education, rural education, culturally linguistic and diverse education, music and art education, and educational psychology. UNC faculty and current K-12 teachers from partner schools will lead sessions on a variety of educational topics. UNC is committed to reaching out to all interested high school and community college students seeking information on becoming a teacher. 

The conference is only one of many ways that UNC, the state’s leader in preparing educators, is responding to support prospective and current teachers and provide possible solutions to the current teaching shortage. In addition to organizing the Future Teachers Conference, Suzette Youngs, Ph.D., a professor of Teacher Education, and Chris Kyser, Ed.D., an assistant professor of Teacher Education, also developed the Aspiring Teachers program that stemmed from the work they have done over the years with the conference. 

The Aspiring Teachers @ UNC: Growing Educators through Concurrent Enrollment is a program designed to “grow our own” group of future teachers who more closely reflect and understand the population of the rural community in which they live. The program aspires to make a career in teaching more accessible to rural high school students through concurrent enrollment and provide an opportunity to return and give back to their own communities. 

“Colorado needs teachers, and the Future Teacher Conference at UNC is a first step in introducing high-school students to the wonders of teaching and potentially launching their careers in education” said Youngs and Kyser. “The goal of the conference is to connect students with experts in the field and encourage students to consider a career in teaching to fuel the teaching pipeline.” 

Learn more and register for the conference