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Students attending the Future Teacher Conference

UNC Hosts Free Event to Inspire Future Teachers Across Colorado

High school and community college students interested in teaching careers have an opportunity to hear from professional educators and gain valuable knowledge about the field during a free two-day event, Feb. 17-18. 

High school and community college students interested in teaching careers have an opportunity to hear from professional educators and gain valuable knowledge about the field during a free two-day event next month at the University of Northern Colorado  

UNC's seventh annual Future Teacher Conference runs in tandem this year with the Colorado Center for Rural Education’s (CCRE) 2022 Future Rural Teachers Summit, Feb. 17-18. The two-day event is an opportunity for aspiring teachers to get first-hand knowledge about what a teaching career is really like from a variety of experts in the field, and to learn what the college experience is like from current students in UNC’s education programs.  

Participants can register for one or both conferences.! Online registration closes on Feb. 4. 

2022 Future Rural Teachers Summit 

Feb. 17, 5:30-9 p.m. 

CCRE’s Future Rural Teachers Summit is designed for students who want to teach in a rural community. Participants will have the opportunity to meet peers with similar interests and participate in group discussions about rural education experiences. The evening also offers campus tours, an information fair with UNC faculty and a question-and-answer session about UNC’s education preparation programs. 

“There are many great reasons to become a rural educator,” said Robert Fulton, Ph.D., who serves as state coordinator for the CCRE. “Most importantly, is that rural teachers get to know their students and families and see their students as whole beings. This summit is a good place for a future rural teacher to get started.” 

Free lodging and board are available for students and their chaperones on UNC’s campus in Wilson Hall, including dinner and breakfast on Friday morning. 

Learn more and register for the 2022 Future Rural Teachers Summit.  

2022 Future Teacher Conference  

Feb. 18, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

UNC’s Future Teacher Conference kicks off with breakfast and an address from keynote speaker Gerardo Munoz, 2021 Colorado Teacher of the Year and a Social Studies teacher at Denver Center for International Studies at Baker.  

Students will participate in interactive workshops, where they can learn more about a wide variety of career opportunities, including early childhood, elementary and secondary education, special education, rural and urban education, educational technology, music and arts education and culturally and linguistically diverse education. A parent seminar is available for families who would like more information about paths to teaching, including information about UNC’s admissions process. 

"This conference has been a highlight for prospective teachers across Colorado and the region for the past six years,” said Suzette Youngs, Ph.D., associate professor of Literacy Education at UNC. “It’s an amazing opportunity for attendees to experience a day in the life of a UNC college student and to experience classes in teacher prep coursework. These learning experiences are also an opportunity for high school and community college students to decide if teaching is a career they want to pursue.” 

In addition to providing valuable information for aspiring educators, the conference also serves an important role in supporting prospective and current teachers in Colorado. That’s something Youngs and conference co-director, Chris Kyser, Ed.D., feel is critical to helping address Colorado’s teacher shortage. 

“Our ultimate goal for the conference is to increase the number of highly qualified teachers across the state of Colorado.,” said Kyser, who is an assistant professor in UNC’s School of Teacher Education. “We are, and have been for some time, experiencing an extreme teacher shortage. And, with drastically reduced numbers of students entering teacher preparation programs, we simply do not have enough teachers. While we recognize that teaching, especially today, is incredibly challenging, we've also been inspired by the amazing teachers that we work with at UNC, and we have so much hope for the profession.”  

Learn more and register for the 2022 Future Teachers Conference. 

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