ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — When the fall semester starts in 2023, first year and transfer students majoring in education at the College of Saint Rose will be able to live on campus free of cost.

“This is a savings for each student of more than $28,000. We need high school students to consider careers in teaching,” announces Saint Rose President Marcia White at a press conference.

Free housing is part of a four prong approach to address a shortage of educators by the college. Apart from the free housing, anyone looking to change fields can get around $1,500 a semester for up to five semesters for masters degrees in education, which is required for new teachers five years after completion of their bachelors degree.

According to New York State, enrollment in education programs has declined 53 percent since 2009. Superintendent Angelina Maloney of the Brunswick Central School District says one of the hardest hit fields is special education. Primarily because of stringent certification requirements.

“I serve on the PSPB which is the Professional Standards and Practices Board and we’ve recognized this is a challenge so instead of having little silos of certification where you’re only certified for certain grades,” says Maloney. “They’ve gone back to a K-12 certification and particularly for smaller schools, that allows a lot more flexibility in being able to utilize staff.” 

In September, the New York State United Teachers President Andy Pallotta told NEWS10’s Skyler Eagle threats towards schools, lingering effects of the pandemic and teacher burnout have hindered efforts to recruit and retain educators.

Superintendent Maloney says while there are always ebbs and flows, more students are seeing college as unnecessary. “Right now we’re in a very practical pathway where students are considering trades. Things that are really impactful by going to your traditional BOCES program for some hands on skills and going right into that career path.”