Numerous studies have clearly substantiated the critical need for producing highly effective teachers. One way to gauge the need for teachers is to look at high school graduating classes. According to the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, Nevada leads the Western United States in projected growth of high school graduating classes, 2014-15 through 2021-22. The number of Nevada high school graduates is expected to be 23,000-24,000.
In order to respond to the needs of the ever-increasing K-12 population, greater numbers of well qualified educational professionals must be available within the next few years, if not yesterday. The "Nevada Occupational Employment and Projections 2012-2022" indicate 10,972 elementary teachers, 1,024 kindergarten teachers, 10,047 middle school and secondary teachers and 1,435 special education teachers will be needed.
Looking past the primary service area, several national organizations (National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education) have repeatedly identified long-range teacher shortages because of the "graying" of American teachers and explosive growth in K-12 student populations.