A decline in enrollment within the teacher education program at the Ohio University Patton College of Education over the past few years is similar to decreases nationwide.
In data obtained by The Post, the Patton College of Education teacher education program saw a decrease in enrollment from 2013 to 2015 of about 227 students. In 2016, though, the teacher education program saw a small jump in enrollment with an additional 111 students.
Patton Dean of Education Renee Middleton said the college has aimed to enroll about 230 students per class in the program. She also said that Patton has a GPA requirement of 3.0 to get into professional education.
“We have more rigor in our teacher education program,” Middleton said in an email.
The college is fairing well compared to the University of Dayton and The Ohio State University.
In the fall of 2016, Ohio State University had a total of 1,081 students enrolled in the teacher education program. In comparison, the University of Dayton had 572 students in its teacher preparation program for the 2016-2017 school year.
Ohio State University had a larger enrollment than OU in 2016 with 45,831 undergraduate students on their main campus. The University of Dayton had a smaller enrollment than OU with 10,803 undergraduate students.
University of Dayton's School of Education and Health Sciences Dean Kevin Kelly said that while the school is doing a good job of preparing its students to be teachers, there is room for improvement.
“Serious and concerted efforts are needed to restore teacher autonomy, improve teacher pay and benefits, provide fairer evaluation of teachers, and provide more resources to (preschool-12th grade) schools before we see a broad resurgence of interest in the teaching profession," Kelly said in an email.
Some students in the teacher education program at OU said that even with those concerns, they have no plan of changing majors.
“I couldn’t imagine doing anything other than education,” DeMarius Rodgers, a sophomore studying integrated social studies, said. “A classroom is where I feel I belong. I don’t really care about the money. I just want to help kids and be a role model.”
Rodgers said he became a teacher education major because it is what fit him best.
“It was like the perfect mix between something I was really interested in and something I had a skill for and I knew I’d be kind of good at,” Rodgers said.
Sam King, a junior studying integrated science, also cannot see himself doing anything other than education.
“I’ve always liked kids, just working with kids and inspiring kids is something I’ve always wanted to do,” King said.
King said the issue of safety in schools, for example, has been blown up more than it used to.
“It may not seem as safe, but for me personally I think it's more because our news and our social media makes everything seem bigger than it really is,” King said.