SCC Streamlines Teacher Preparation Degrees in Effort to Address NC’s K-12 Shortage

Albemarle, NC - Stanly Community College (SCC) is joining the fight, along with other two-year institutions in the state, to address North Carolina’s teacher shortage thanks to a new agreement with the University of North Carolina (UNC) System.

Last month, President Thomas Stith of the North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS) and President Peter Hans of the UNC System, signed an agreement which will ensure a more seamless transfer to UNC institutions for students who wish to become future educators.

John Bowman, Program Head of University Transfer at SCC, expressed that the College wants to encourage local students to come to SCC and give them the resources they need to move into a rewarding career as teachers. “Demand is extremely high for teachers in our county right now. There is a teacher shortage, with local schools scrambling to fill this void as quickly as possible,” Bowman said. “This response is based on strong anecdotal evidence. I have spoken with teachers from the community who have witnessed this situation first hand, though there is clear evidence from local job listings as well. In preparation for this agreement, SCC started the process of implementing these degrees a year ago,” Bowman said

The College hopes the new articulation agreement will bring more students to its program. SCC plans to seek teaching talent in Stanly County through community outreach opportunities, including in local high schools and events. Additionally, SCC offers a high school program through the Career & College Promise pathway for students to start earning their college credit classes while still in high school.

“Our position in the county means we are ideally suited to bring students into the profession by giving them some experience in a classroom setting while also allowing them to earn their general education credits before moving to a four-year university to complete their credentials and licensure,” he said.

SCC offers two teacher preparation transfer degrees -- an Associate in Arts in Teacher Preparation (AATP) and an Associate in Science in Teacher Preparation (ASTP). Both degrees are designed to prepare students who wish to work as teachers in the K-12 school system and transfer to study their bachelor’s degree in teaching in a non-STEM major (AATP) or a STEM major (ASTP). SCC students working toward these degrees will be required to take 14 hours of Education courses, and the remaining hours will follow the university general education requirements of the traditional Associate in Arts or Associate in Science degrees.

Cyndie Osborne, Program Head for Early Childhood programs at SCC, stated, “This is the perfect time to get started toward a career as a teacher at SCC. Students taking Education courses at SCC will be taught by experienced professional K-12 educators providing students authentic and engaging learning opportunities, plus observations and interactions in appropriate K-12 settings. These education courses give students the opportunity to decide whether or not this is the right career choice for them. It is best practice to learn about the field from experienced K-12 educators in these courses.”

Fall enrollment is currently open for 12-week classes in both the Associate in Arts Teacher Preparation and Associate in Science Teacher Preparation degrees. To register or for more information, please contact Eagle’s 1-Stop at (704) 991-0123 or onestop@stanly.edu, or visit our website at www.stanly.edu. Classes start on September 16.