ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The College of Saint Rose is taking the next step in their Build the Teacher Pipeline Initiative, launching the first of a series of virtual sessions aimed at retaining teachers. 

“More than ever we need that support,” Kristi Fragnoli, Professor of Education at The College of Saint Rose, said. “The pandemic has been so hard on every profession, we know about the great resignation but it also impacted education in schools all over New York State and nationwide.”

The webinar focuses on addressing the mental health needs of students and teachers and is the first of five courses created based on the results of a 2022 survey, conducted by the college, that found educators wanted more training on creating better learning environments, inclusive teaching and culturally responsive education. 

Fragnoli said the new course is just the beginning to combatting the teacher shortage head on. 

“We are seeing an impact from this initiative, we have increased 50 percent in applications into our education programs,” Fragnoli said.

It’s all part of a plan that offers incentives for students to pursue education and teaching in their careers, including scholarships, tuition aid and different professional development opportunities. 

The program aims to increase enrollment in education programs, something the college believes is a key contributor to the nationwide teacher shortage. The latest New York State data shows statewide enrollment in teacher education programs declined 53 percent since 2009. 

Fragnoli believes that makes programs like this crucial to supporting and retaining interest in education. 

“We know that they are estimating 180,000 teachers retiring in the profession in the next decade, we need teachers,” Fragnoli said.

The full initiative launches in the fall. Registration for the virtual courses can be found here, they will also be posted on the college’s Youtube page in the coming weeks.