North Carolina education leaders recently signed an agreement to address the critical teacher shortage in the state. President Thomas Stith of the North Carolina Community College System and President Peter Hans of the University of North Carolina System made a joint announcement of the new Comprehensive Articulation Agreement that will increase opportunities for community college students to transfer to teacher education programs within the UNC System.
Effective in the current fall semester at Sandhills Community College, students can begin their teacher preparation studies in the new Associate in Arts in Teacher Preparation (AATP) or the Associate in Science in Teacher Preparation (ASTP) program. They will then have a seamless transfer into one of the educator preparation programs within the UNC System to complete a bachelor’s degree and become a licensed teacher in the K-12 system.
“The signing of these agreements lets us simplify processes and remove barriers for students to continue their education in North Carolina,” said Stith. “We appreciate this needed opportunity to better align with partners within the UNC System to accelerate student progress and support the teacher education pipeline in North Carolina.”
“By creating intentional pathways from community colleges to the UNC System, we will be able to recruit and prepare more teachers for our growing state,” said Hans. “Our goal is also to diversify and strengthen the teacher corps to benefit all students. This is a great day for education in North Carolina.”
“Each student in North Carolina deserves to have access to a great teacher but, like many states, ours has struggled to fill critical teaching vacancies, particularly in rural communities,” said Brenda Berg, president and CEO, BEST NC. “The new articulation agreement for teacher preparation between the NC Community College and the UNC System is a powerful step forward. It helps ensure we can recruit and prepare the next generation of teachers through a high-quality pathway into the profession that begins just a few miles from home.”
Prospective or current Sandhills students can contact Sue Sheets at 910.695.3745 or [email protected] for more information or to enroll in the program.“ We currently have nine students enrolled in this new program for fall semester,” said Program Coordinator Sue Sheets. “It’s so thrilling to see their passion for teaching and is satisfying to know that Sandhills can play a part to launch them into this rewarding career.”
In addition to the Uniform Articulation Agreement in Teacher Education/Educator Preparation, NCCCS and the UNC System have uniform articulation agreements in Fine Arts (Music, Fine Arts, and Theatre), engineering, early childhood education, RN to BSN in addition to the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement, which enables graduates of two-year Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degree programs who are admitted to constituent institutions of the UNC System to transfer with junior status.
Sandhills Community College also partners with seven NC universities. The Carolina Student Transfer Excellence Program (C-STEP) is for first generation college students that wish to transfer to UNC-Chapel Hill. For those interested in a career in agriculture, the college offers in partnership with NC State the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) the PackTrac program. The Pirate Promise Agreement is for those interested in a bachelor’s degree from ECU and the Pathway to Excellence program is for those interested in a bachelor’s degree from UNC-W. The College also offers the UNC-P BraveStep program and agreements with St. Andrews University and Methodist University for those seeking to earn bachelor’s degrees from those institutions.
College Classes for High School Students
High school juniors and seniors can begin the Teacher Preparation transfer pathway by enrolling in the Career and College Program (CCP). In addition to this pathway, the SCC CCP offers six other transfer pathways, 47 Career Technical pathways, 54 college transfer courses, 10 Continuing Education pathways in Hoke County, and 11 Continuing Education pathways in Moore County.
There is no cost to students to take these SCC classes. High school students can contact their counselor to learn more or follow the “Programs” link from the college’s homepage, then click “High School Programs.”
High school students who successfully complete four CCP classes qualify for the Sandhills Promise. This program offers two full years of classes immediately following high school graduation at no cost.
Because of the amazing generosity of donors to the College, Sandhills can offer over $900,000 in aid and scholarships in addition to money students can receive through government programs. Begin the application process by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form at www.fafsa.gov. For new students or those not currently enrolled in classes who don’t qualify for financial aid, we will award $311 in guaranteed aid.
Feature photo by Sandhills Sentinel Photographer John Patota.