Brandman News

As teacher shortage looms, Brandman University teams up with Orange County school districts to host education career fair

January 22, 2015 by Brandman University

School districts have more than 1,000 positions to fill at event on Friday, 2/13 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

IRVINE, CALIF.  More students, more teachers reaching retirement age and fewer newly issued credentials for any type of teaching: It all adds up to the California teaching shortage that’s been predicted since 2007.

This year it even merited a mention from Gov. Jerry Brown in his inauguration/state of the state address.

“The tasks ahead are daunting: making sure that the new system of local control works; recruiting and training thousands of teachers; mastering the Common Core Curriculum and fostering the creativity needed to inspire students,” he said.

The most immediate need is for substitute teachers. School districts from throughout Orange County will have those and other positions available Friday, Feb. 13 (10AM – 2PM), at an Education Job Fair at Brandman University in Irvine.

Human resources specialists in the Irvine Unified School District know the need firsthand.  So far this year the district has posted nearly 1,000 positions, although not all are for teachers.

In addition to substitute teachers, Irvine’s greatest need is for instructional assistants for Special Education and behavior tutors.

“We are continuing to grow in student enrollment, so we are continuing to increase our staff. This has been going on for a couple of years and will continue as we continue to open new schools. Each school needs to be fully staff with certificated, classified, and administrative staff, so there may be a wide variety of positions available. We will open a new elementary school next year and a high school the following year so there will be a variety of teaching positons open,” said Rena L. Thompson, director of human resources for the district.

Other school districts participating in the Feb. 13 event are La Habra City School District, Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District, Saddleback Valley Unified School District and Santa Ana Unified School District. St Anne School in Laguna Niguel and several preschools will also participate. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at 16355 Laguna Canyon Road, Irvine.

“We are thrilled to partner with our local school districts in Orange County yet again to help them find highly qualified educators to fill their vacant positions,” said Dr. Christine Zeppos, dean of the School of Education. “Unique this year is a need to fill the significant substitute teaching vacancies in partner districts so we hope this education fair attracts future teachers so that we are able to help them enter the field and fill this soon-to-be pervasive need.”

Thompson said the Irvine school district prefers applicants who already have teaching credentials. “We also want applicants who know and believe in our mission and vision. We want people who not only know their subject matter, but who also demonstrate excellence in the ‘soft skills’ like collaboration and integrity,” she said. In general, they hire for attitude and are looking for self-starters who are growth-oriented and can solve problems.

Participants should come prepared for same-day interviews and bring resumes and CBEST scores or out-of-state teaching credentials. Those interested in substitute teaching need to meet the qualifications for applying for a 30-day substitute permit. Those and other criteria can be found at

Information will also be available for those interested in earning a teacher credential through Brandman’s Department of Education.

By the numbers:

  • 7 percent: The decrease in the number of newly issued credentials for multiple subject, single subject and education specialist categories.
  • Nine: The number of consecutive years that the total number of initial teaching credentials has decreased
  • 30 percent: Decrease over the past five years in the number of new teaching credentials initially issued.
  • 2 percent: Predicted increase in student population, although growth may vary widely depending on location.
  • 7,603: Number of K-12 teacher retirements predicted statewide.

Sources: California Teachers’ Retirement System; California Commission on Teacher Credentialing; California Department of Education.

About Brandman University
Brandman University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. As part of the Chapman University System, Brandman blends a legacy of academic excellence with innovative curriculum and strong support services designed for students with busy schedules. The university offers 50+ undergraduate, graduate, credential and certificate programs across its schools of arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and health. Brandman serves 12,000 students annually with programs available online and at 26 campuses throughout California and Washington. The university’s online programs consistently rank among the top in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

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