Indiana has a challenge of filling more than 1 million jobs over the next 10 years. To help bridge the gap between when students leave the classroom and join the workforce, we are focused on better preparing young Hoosiers to hit the ground running.

How do we strengthen the connection between Hoosier employers and the classroom?

The Governor’s Workforce Cabinet worked with educators, counselors, business leaders, parents and the Indiana Department of Education to identify and recommend solutions. One recommendation focused on better ensuring our educators have opportunities to connect and collaborate with industry leaders to understand their needs for skilled workers and the changing job market.

When educators renew their licenses, they have four different options. They can complete six hours of college coursework, participate in the National Board Certification process, count other educational requirements for other concurrently held licenses toward the professional educator license, or develop a Professional Growth Plan. If a teacher chooses the PGP option, they must earn 90 professional growth points or hours over the course of five years.

Lawmakers supported the passage of a new law (HEA 1002), which says 15 of these 90 professional growth points must relate to a teacher’s community or the state’s workforce needs. The law does not take effect until July 1, 2019. Points can be earned through existing or new professional development opportunities like webinars and conferences provided by the state, or through more intensive experiences like business partnerships or externships. Teacher externships and industry learning are already commonplace in many areas around the state. This change only specifies how 15 of these 90 professional growth points are completed, and does not require teachers to earn additional points or dedicate more time for licensure renewal. Teachers who are currently renewing their license or begin the renewal process prior to July 1 will not be impacted by this change until the next time they renew their license.

By working together, educators will have opportunities to connect with business leaders to help ensure coursework is relevant for students and our young Hoosiers have the tools needed to be successful in a competitive job market. Click here to learn more.