NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

College Students Express Desire to Teach

July 12, 1999

Recent surveys show increasing numbers of college freshmen expressing a desire to become teachers in elementary and secondary schools -- as well as greater interest in government, public policy and community work.

  • Just over 10 percent of all freshmen want to teach, according to the Cooperative Institutional Research Program at UCLA -- the highest proportion since the early 1970s and nearly twice the numbers for 1982.
  • The number of bachelor's and master's degrees in education rose 31 percent from 1986 to 1996 -- compared with 22 percent in other fields.
  • Top liberal arts colleges -- many of which have revitalized their teacher education programs -- report a surge in the number of applicants who enroll in them, sometimes doubling or quadrupling.
  • The federal Department of Education has estimated that schools will need to hire 2.2 million teachers over the next 10 years to meet a wave of retirements, rising enrollments and demands for smaller class sizes.

Source: Mary B.W. Tabor, "Despite Low Prestige and Pay, More Answer the Call to Teach," New York Times, July 11, 1999.


Browse more articles on Education Issues