MADISON – The overwhelming majority of University of Wisconsin System teacher education graduates are employed, mostly as teachers, according to a survey conducted for UW System Administration (UWSA) by the Wisconsin Survey Research Laboratory.

Concerns that too many teacher education students are graduating from the UW System and thereby creating an overabundance of teachers prompted UWSA to conduct a survey of their teacher education graduates. The results were presented to the Education Committee of the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents on October 7.

Key findings show that:

  • Ninety-six percent of UW System teacher education graduates are employed-86 percent full-time and another 10 percent part-time
  • Of all respondents, 87 percent are employed as teachers
  • Most of the graduates, 78 percent, are teaching in Wisconsin. Another 11 percent teach in Minnesota and 3 percent teach in Illinois.

Public schools employed 87 percent of the teachers, another 8 percent were teaching in private schools, and 4 percent fell into the “other” category, which primarily consisted of teachers in pre-school settings.

A majority of the graduates who are employed in non-teaching positions indicated that their current position is either very or somewhat related to their field of study.

“I think information from this survey, gathered directly from the graduates, shows that the UW System is meeting the needs of students pursuing teaching as a profession. We are also pleased to find that our teacher education graduates are satisfied by their career choice,” said David J. Ward, senior vice president for academic affairs at UW System Administration.

“The high placement rate in their field of study indicates that we have teaching programs that address the needs of Wisconsin schools,” said Ward.

Survey respondents employed as teachers are overwhelmingly satisfied with teaching as a career, with 94 percent stating they are either very satisfied (63 percent) or somewhat satisfied (31 percent.)

All education majors who received their initial BA/BS degree from a UW System institution in December 1997, May 1998 and August 1998 were contacted in this survey. In the spring of 1999, a mail survey was sent to the 2,113 graduates. After three mailings, a total of 1,382 graduates completed the questionnaires for a 65 percent response rate.


Sharyn Wisniewski
(608) 262-6448