The University of Wisconsin-Superior's Department of Education has announced changes to two of its programs.

The revisions come in response to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction's licensing updates that were made with the intent of addressing the teacher shortage, according to a news release from UW-Superior.

The licensing updates broaden the grades and subjects education students can teach and UW-Superior's program changes reflect that.

The university's elementary education major will now prepare students for a K-9 teaching license whereas before the major led students to teach either early childhood to sixth grade or first grade to sixth grade.

"The program changes will now more easily allow students to complete their degree in four years and will apply to the on-campus and online formats," the news release stated.

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Students in the existing programs — early childhood to middle childhood as well as middle childhood to early adolescence — can either finish the program or transition into the new K-9 program.

Mary Churchill, chair of UW-Superior's department of education, said the redesigned programs will allow students to earn a teaching license in fewer credits.

“It also gives students more flexibility in their employment after graduation, something that will also help school districts fill their classrooms with quality teachers more easily," Churchill said.

Students seeking teaching jobs outside of Wisconsin should check the appropriate states Department of Education in case there are any additional requirements

In the fall of 2019, 586 undergraduate students were enrolled in the education department along with 265 graduate students.