Survey Shows Widening Gap in Supply of Teachers Coming in the Fall

(June 3, 2020, Washington, D.C.) – Education leaders’ outlook for the 2020-21 academic year anticipates a widening gap in the supply of new teachers, according to the April 2020 survey conducted by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE). The findings show 23% of respondents expect a decline in continuing education student enrollment of more than 10%, and 40% expect such a decline among new students. The study on how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting educator preparation programs was based on nearly 200 responses from individuals in leadership roles at colleges of education.

“Our survey examines the critical demands in teacher preparation as we continue to navigate the global health pandemic and prepare for the academic year beginning in the fall,” said Lynn M. Gangone, AACTE president and CEO. “The data generated in this report provide important benchmarks for building the teaching workforce. We view these findings as an important indicator of the increased challenges ahead and key factors for prioritizing our efforts to move our profession forward.”

Major findings include

  • Budget cuts due to both enrollment decreases and state funding cuts are a significant concern among respondents.
  • Virtually all programs have transitioned to fully online instruction, using both synchronous and asynchronous methods.
  • Faculty have received training in online instruction, and IT support has increased.
  • Many institutions are providing devices for students as needed.
  • Most states have waived clinical requirements, but, as of April when the survey was conducted, almost 40% of respondents reported that their state had not adjusted its assessment policies.
  • Numerous respondents cited access to tests required for licensure as a significant challenge.
  • Nearly half of respondents indicated that field placements (student teaching) have been discontinued for at least some of their students.
  • Uncertainties regarding field placements for the fall are a significant concern of respondents.
  • Three out of four respondents reported having candidates whose placements have been canceled and are available to assist PK-12 schools.

Access the full report. A webinar recording on the survey findings is available online. For more information, visit AACTE’s COVID-19 Resource Hub.


AACTE: The Leading Voice on Educator Preparation

The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education is a national alliance of educator preparation programs and partners dedicated to high-quality, evidence-based preparation that assures educators are profession-ready as they enter the classroom. The 800 member institutions include public and private colleges and universities in every state, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands and Guam. Through advocacy and capacity building, AACTE promotes innovation and effective practices that strengthen educator preparation. Learn more at

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