CWU News

CWU Revamps/Ramps Up Teacher Preparation to Address Shortage

Central Washington University alumni already comprise 1-in-5 classroom instructors in Washington. But, in response to the noted shortage of K-12 instructors in large cities and small towns across the state and nation, Central is committing itself to produce even more top-flight classroom teachers, in a wide range of grade levels and subject areas, through refining the university’s award-winning teacher education programs.

“We’ve changed our infrastructure which will allow us to re-focus our efforts to help meet the teacher shortage,” noted College of Education and Professional Studies Dean Paul Ballard. Infrastructure changes include the reorganization of academic departments with a realignment of academic programs.

Ballard says the changes come on-the-heels of a disturbing survey of Washington schools, taken well into the last academic year, which determined 61 percent of urban-district principals had unfilled teaching positions and also found 68 percent of central Washington principals were unable to find an adequate number of substitutes.

Following months of discussions, deliberations, and research, university officials announced the comprehensive, sweeping transformation of the newly named CWU School of Education, a name change that becomes official on July 1. Initially, Mindie Dieu, will serve as its executive director and Crystal Weddington as the school’s associate director. Education professor Ian Loverro will chair the Department of Curriculum, Supervision, and Educational Leadership, while Heidi Henschel Pellett, physical education, school and public health, will oversee the Department of Physical Education, School Health, and Movement Studies.

“The changes will lead to improved services for our teacher-education students, enhanced coordination of student experiences with our community partners, and expanded interdisciplinary collaboration within university academic units relating to accountability; creativity and innovation; and curriculum- and program-development processes,” Ballard stated. “We have a lot to accomplish and I am confident that with the knowledge, skills, and abilities of Mindie, Crystal, Ian, and Heidi we will be successful.”

In addition, a chair for the Department of Education, Development, Teaching, and Learning will be named later this week. The refinements are being made in a way that will not increase the coursework or course loads for students. Actually, a decrease in time to degree is anticipated. Ballard has also created a new Teacher Education Executive Council and Teacher Education Advisory Council, involving all university academic areas that provide teacher education.

Despite its well-established track record as a pioneer in teacher education and preparation, the challenge for CWU is to ensure that teacher resources do not become any scarcer.

Media contact: Robert Lowery, director of Radio Services and Integrated Communications, 509-963-1487,

May 23, 2016