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Niagara University creates program to get more teachers in the classroom

The state teachers union says the current teacher shortage hits 16 areas of education.

LEWISTON, N.Y. — The teacher shortage in parts of New York State, including here in Western New York is not getting any better, and now Niagara University is trying to do something about it.

NU is partnering with local school districts to offer a program that's intended to recruit more teachers. 

For some perspective, the state teachers union says that shortage hits 16 areas of education from social studies to math to music. 

The program created by NU will train college graduates to become teachers in one year and pay them at the same time. It's three semesters long and will require a minimum of 100 days in a classroom.  

College graduates with at least a Bachelor's Degree can apply. Those applications will be accepted throughout the summer.   

Classes are tailored to not affect classroom experience. 

"Our courses are scheduled in the late afternoons so if you were working in a school during the day you can come after school and the evenings. You can take it online so we've flexed our schedule around the school time," said Dr. Chandra Foote, the dean of NU's College of Education.

The program also requires that teachers in training take exams to get their state teaching certificate. 

Also involved in this partnership with NU, are several local school districts, West Seneca, Buffalo, Niagara Falls and the Diocese of Buffalo Catholic Schools, which will guarantee that participants get the experience they need. 

NU says these future teachers can make around $100 per day, but that rate can vary based on which school district they are getting classroom experience with.

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