UND Today

University of North Dakota’s Official News Source

UND to launch Office of Teacher Recruitment and Retention

College of Education & Human Development spearheading effort to combat critical teacher shortages throughout North Dakota

The new UND Office of Teacher Recruitment and Retention aims to counter the trend of declining numbers of teachers in North Dakota, which has been brought on in recent years by fewer college graduates pursuing degrees in education and various impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. UND photo.

In response to teacher shortages throughout the state and nationwide, the University of North Dakota is leading an effort to recruit and retain qualified teachers across North Dakota by launching the Office of Teacher Recruitment and Retention.

Cindy Juntunen

“Every child deserves a highly-qualified teacher”, says Cindy Juntunen, dean of the College of Education and Human Development at UND. “We are committed to putting our time and energy into preparing more new teachers for the state.  We also believe that understanding and valuing the experience of current teachers is essential, to keep qualified teachers in the profession.  Our new focus on recruitment and retention will help with both of these goals.”

According to the U.S. Department of Education, teacher shortages in North Dakota span a myriad of areas, including early childhood and elementary education, math, social studies, and health and physical fitness. Declining enrollment in teacher education programs in recent years combined with various impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have contributed to the current crisis.

The new Office of Teacher Recruitment and Retention aims to counter this trend across North Dakota by:

  • Slowing or reversing the downward enrollment trend in teacher education programs;
  • Providing support to current teachers and addressing underlying causes of teacher stress and dissatisfaction before they leave the profession;
  • Establishing more resources for children across the state through rural Summer Camps in reading and STEM; and
  • Introducing new opportunities for training to recruit new students interested in educational careers.

The UND Office of Teacher Recruitment and Retention plans to be fully staffed by this summer and launching new initiatives starting in the fall.