By Jeff Todd

ARVADA, Colo. (CBS4)– When you talk to Colorado teachers, they’ll admit they need help. There are reportedly 3,000 job vacancies waiting to be filled in the state.

To try decreasing the teacher shortage, CU Boulder is now offering guaranteed admission to the School of Education for qualifying students who complete programs in High School.

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(credit: CBS)

“I want to be a teacher because I love working with kids. I love the impact kids have on a person’s life but also they impact each other’s life. And, I think at such at such a young age you can mold them into being such a great student but also a great human being,” said Amanda Erholm, a Senior at Arvada West High School.

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Erholm started the Teacher Cadets program as a Junior. After one semester of being taught, she headed into the classroom as a teacher’s assistant.

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(credit: Amanda Erholm)

“Last year I did fourth grade so you get into a class room, you teach a couple lessons and you really just get immersed with kids. I was very nervous my first time but it gets easier as you go on. You just have to get the kids to respect you and that’s the hardest part of this class. I’m not too much older than the kids I’m teaching and so that kind of makes it hard you have to create an authority figure but you also want to be a friend figure too,” Erholm said.

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Teacher Cadets is offered at 29 schools in 14 school districts around Colorado. Another program available for guaranteed enrollment is Pathways2Teaching.

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(credit: Amanda Erholm)

High school students must meet some requirements like good standing in school and a high grade point average. The University of Northern Colorado and CSU-Pueblo have similar guaranteed admission.

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Erholm doesn’t know where she’s going to go to college, but guaranteed admission could help make up her mind.

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“You have a pathway already set for you,” she said. “I want to be able to know I’m into a program and know what I want to do and get immersed in that program right away.”

Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he’s been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.

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