A company that helps professionals in other fields become classroom teachers without going through teachers colleges has started recruiting students in Missouri.

A new state law going into effect on the 28th lets the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence train non-teaching professionals to take classroom teaching jobs in middle and high schools.

The state education department says it has application forms ready as soon for those who complete the program.

ABCTE says it’s already had more than 250 people enroll in the preparation and certification program. More than 19-hundred people have shown an interest in enrolling. A recruitment fair will be held in St.Louis tomorrow and another one in Kansas City on the 23rd.

Education certification coordinator Rusty Rosenkoetter at the state education department says the state law requires ABCTE teachers to have some classroom experience, but not the semester of student-teaching that education college graduates have to have. The law requires sixty hours of substitute teaching or sixty hours of paraprofessional work. She says that’s better than nothing.

Seven states already have ABCTE programs. She says some of the teachers coming through the program turn out to be excellent teachers and others leave as soon as possible. But she thinks the program will help relieve Missouri’s 30-percent turnover of teachers every five years, regardless.

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