Corrine Hess, Wisconsin Public Radio

As schools across Wisconsin face ongoing teacher shortages, School Choice Wisconsin and Concordia University are offering people with degrees an opportunity to join the profession. 

The Concordia Teaching and Learning Academy, or CTLA, is an 18-month online program for Wisconsin residents with a Bachelor’s degree who want to teach in the state’s private choice schools. Enrollees are partnered with one of Wisconsin’s 373 participating schools and mentored during their education.  

“They will have a mentor who will allow for them to emulate a student-teacher experience, but it’s going to be more immersive,” said School Choice Wisconsin President Nicholas Kelly. “That mentor will also be part of our CTLA program, so they’ll receive guidance from Concordia as well.”

Kelly said a survey conducted in summer 2022 by School Choice Wisconsin found there were 355 open K-12 teacher positions at the 133 Choice schools that responded. Similar research found Milwaukee Public Schools was down 230 teachers and the Madison Metropolitan School District had 140 teacher vacancies during that time frame, Kelly said. 

Enrollment for the CTLA program begins in June. Kelly anticipates about 15 people in the first class, but he says it could grow to 50 in future classes. The cost is about $9,000 per person.

Target enrollees include professionals like actuaries, accountants and engineers looking for a career change or retirees.

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