By SUNNY LOCKWOOD
Unlike many other areas of the country, Calaveras County is well supplied with teachers.
But when the current crop retires, where will replacements come from?
Home ground, county education officials hope.
The Calaveras County Office of Education is conducting a pre-intern program for people pursuing teaching credentials.
The program, a satellite of the San Joaquin County Office of Education, allows people with bachelor's degrees who have passed the California Basic Education Skills Test to attend classes in Angels Camp one night a week and work in classrooms.
The classroom work satisfies requirements for "introduction to teaching" and "subject matter competency" both needed for a credential.
And working in classrooms as substitutes provides on-the-job training, said Kathy Bettger, credential analyst with the Office of Education and coordinator of the pre-intern program.
Each pre-intern has a mentor teacher assigned to them, she said. About once a month, the mentors observe their students in classrooms.
She said there are several long-term substitute teachers in the county who want to become fully credentialed.
"This program is a foot in the door toward that credential," Bettger said.
Because the pre-internship program is state funded, participants save significantly on costs. Bettger said the pre-internship and the two-year internship that follows cost $4,000 per participant.
"It would be more than twice that through a college or university," she said.
The program runs from Oct. 1 through June 2.
Classes are held from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. once a week at the Calaveras County Office of Education in Angels Camp.
Pre-interns are, for the most part, long-term substitute teachers or those with job offers who need to complete their credential requirements, Bettger said.