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FORT WAYNE, Ind. — To address the nationwide teacher shortage in Indiana, only worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic, Purdue University in Fort Wayne will be implementing five new teaching licensure programs.

The Indiana State Board of Education had approved the programs on Wednesday. Of the five programs, three of them are Transition to Teaching programs: Special Education, primary and secondary education. Meanwhile, the other two programs are in high-need areas: Speech-Language Pathology and Elementary STEM.

Prospective students can apply immediately and start as early as the spring 2022 semester.

Many Hoosier teachers are working within districts on emergency licenses. These teachers as well as future educators have an immediate need for additional pathways to licensure. As a result, Purdue Fort Wayne collaborated with area schools in northeast Indiana to close this gap.

“The Transition to Teaching programs at Purdue Fort Wayne address areas of critical need, particularly licensed special education teachers,” said Charles Cammack Jr., chief operations officer for Fort Wayne Community Schools, in a press release. “We know people hear the calling to education at different times in their lives, and these programs will allow them to move from a non-education career into the classroom where they can make a difference in the lives of students on a daily basis.”

The Speech-Language Pathology licensure program meets one of the highest-need licensure areas. Elementary STEM, a new and heavily desired path, will make Purdue Fort Wayne the first university in Indiana to offer that particular license.

“Our Transition to Teaching programs are specifically designed to help address the teacher shortage by offering a streamlined pathway for career changers who already hold a bachelor’s degree,” said Isabel Nunez, director of the School of Education and professor of educational studies at Purdue Fort Wayne, in a press release. “While our goal is to respond to the K-12 teacher shortage, our main focus is to develop qualified, excellent teachers. Each of these new programs will help us accomplish those priorities.”

The Transition to Teaching programs requires 24 credit hours of specific pedagogical content, the elementary program also requires 24 credit hours of coursework, then the secondary program requires 18 credit hours.

Applicants to the Transition to Teaching programs must have an undergraduate degree and a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Candidates that don’t meet the qualifying GPA can seek admission through related work experience or by passing the Praxis Content Exam for the subject area they wish to obtain a teaching license.

The programs should take a year to 18 months to complete. Upon successful completion, students must pass the designated Praxis tests for Indiana to be licensed. Those that wish to apply can do so online.

Educators that are interested in learning more may contact someone at Purdue Fort Wayne at or by calling (260)-481-6111. Additional information may also be requested online.