About Us


The Leadership Maryland Education Summit held in Baltimore, Maryland, in 2001 inspired the creation of the Center for Career Changers to the Classroom (CCCC).  Over 300 participants at that forum named career changers who become teachers as one of the top ten topics of interest.  This high interest led to the first Career Changer Fair held at UMBC in 2003.  The first fair drew over 700 interested career changers to attend sessions held by the Maryland State Department of Education and to visit booths manned by two- and four-year higher education institution individuals representing their colleges of education and by local school systems.  Two more fairs were held in subsequent years.

Ongoing interest coupled with the director Sheila Allen’s doctoral research on career changers as well as the shortage of teachers, particularly in science, technology, engineering, math, special education, and ESL, led to the initial efforts that are the foundation of this organization.

In 2008, Dr. Allen convened an advisory board, composed of career changers and teacher mentors who work with career changers, to develop the goals, values, vision, and mission of a career changer institute.  This committee worked throughout the summer as Dr. Allen met with key individuals in county school systems to set up a pilot program for interested career changers.  The pilot project is was conducted during the 2009-2010 academic year in the Baltimore County School System at Towson, New Town, and Lansdowne High Schools.  Principals, mentor teachers, and career changers provided input into revising a career changer intern placement and workshops.

Today, three community colleges in Maryland have developed the course Exploring Teaching as a Next Career based on information gained from research and the pilot in Baltimore County.  A promotional video has been completed and can be viewed on this site under Learn More.  The video highlights career changers talking about their positive experiences teaching.  Additionally, the director is now approaching corporations to gain their support in interesting and sending employees into an encore career in teaching.

The Need

Public schools need teachers in critical shortage areas.

  • One-third of the nation’s teachers leave within the first three years with 50 percent leaving after five years
  • Approximately 39% of Maryland teachers leave their profession within the first five years according to the 2014-16 MD Teacher Staffing Report; the 2016-18 Report shows “no marked increases or
    decreases either in the rate of attrition or the number of years in the teachers’ career when separation occurred.”

    • Maryland schools have a critical shortage of teachers in the arts: art and dance; business education; computer science; English; English for speakers of other languages (ESOL); family and consumer science; languages: French and Spanish; mathematics; middle school: English/language arts, mathematics, science and social studies; science areas: biology, chemistry, earth/space science, physical science, and physics; special education: all age levels (pre-K – adult) in generic special education, hearing impaired, and visually impaired; technology education
    • Maryland schools have a shortage of teachers who are male and a shortage of teacher who are members of minority groups
    • Approximately 23% of MD teachers have one to five years experience and 9% have 26 or more years experiences; in the past, these are two groups most likely to leave the profession
    • Of beginning teachers hired in the last five years, nearly 59% were non-Maryland prepared

Statistics from the Maryland Teacher Staffing Report 2016-2018

Career changers are part of the solution to this problem.

  • 42% of 24-60 year olds with at least a bachelor’s degree would consider becoming a teacher in the future
    • 68% of these potential teachers say that finding a job personally rewarding is an extremely important job quality
    • 54% say that contributing to society and making a difference is high on the list of important job qualities
    • 45% find teaching in a high school extremely appealing
    • 32% find a school with children from low-income or disadvantaged backgrounds to be extremely appealing

Statistics from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation

Employees nearing or in retirement are interested in teaching as an encore career

  • 46% of leading edge baby boomers (ages 51-62) are interested in an encore career
    • 57% hold a college or technical school degree
    • 45% come from careers as professionals or managers
    • 64% want to use their skills and experience to help others
  • 12% of leading edge baby boomers (ages 51-62) are currently in encore careers
    • 52% come from careers as professionals or managers
    • 59% are working 40 hours per week or more
    • 30% are in education
    • 55% want to use their skills and experience to help others

Potential teachers know very little about teacher preparation

  • 73% know some or little about teacher certification programs
  • Maryland offers three different types of certification programs with 367 programs offered by 23 four-year institutions as well as conditional teaching certification and Maryland Approved Alternative Preparation Programs

Statistics from MetLife and Civic Ventures reports