COSTA MESA —Nearly one third of California's teachers are expected to retire in the next decade, so there will be a demand for more versatile educators and administrators — and that's not even counting all the teachers who've lost their jobs due to state cutbacks.
The University of Phoenix, however, is now offering three new degree programs at its Southern California campuses to help meet the future demand, whereby teachers find themselves increasingly taking on more duties or being reassigned to administrative posts because of the cutbacks.
A pair of the new degrees can now be obtained through the university's master of arts in education program — one specializing in teacher leadership, the other in administration and supervision, said Bethany Hill, a spokeswoman for the campuses.
Additionally, Hill said, the university's College of Education, in conjunction with its College of Natural Sciences, will offer a bachelor's in liberal studies. Courses such as personal leadership, mentoring and coaching and teacher leadership in a global society are just a few offered.
The idea behind the new subjects and degrees, Hill said, is that they will allow certified teachers to become more credentialed in other subject matters, thus increasing their chances of teaching in another field or becoming more valuable in an industry that is suffering of late.
"The state budget crisis has really affected local teachers," said Bryan Newman, campus director for the University of Phoenix Southern California campus. "We're excited that we'll be filling a need for teachers looking to advance their careers, or anybody, for that matter."