Albemarle, NC – North Carolina education leaders signed an agreement on Monday, August 23, 2021, to address the critical teacher shortage in the state. President Thomas Stith of the North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS) and President Peter Hans of the University of North Carolina System (UNC System) made a joint announcement of their new Comprehensive Articulation Agreement that will increase opportunities for community college students to transfer to teacher education programs within the UNC System. It is effective fall 2021.
The Uniform Articulation Agreement in Teacher Education / Educator Preparation is focused on developing a seamless transfer for students who begin teacher preparation studies in the Associate in Arts in Teacher Preparation (AATP) and the Associate in Science in Teacher Preparation (ASTP) programs at a community college and then transfer to 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 agreement includes 52 of North Carolina’s “Great 58” community colleges and 15 universities within the UNC System. Additional community colleges will offer the new transfer degrees for fall 2022.
“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.”
In fall 2020, Stanly Community College launched two teacher preparation transfer degrees. Both degrees, the Associate in Arts Teacher Preparation and the Associate in Science Teacher Preparation, are designed for students who wish to work as teachers in the K-12 school system and transfer to study their baccalaureate degree in teaching in a non-STEM major (AATP) or a STEM major (ASTP).
The degrees are comprised of 14 hours of EDU (Education) courses, and the remaining hours will follow the university general education requirements of the traditional Associate in Arts or Associate in Science degrees.
In addition, a high school program has been established through the Career & College Promise pathway for students to start earning their college credit classes while still in high school.
Fall enrollment is open for students to register for 12-week classes for both the Associate in Arts Teacher Preparation and Associate in Science Teacher Preparation degrees. Classes start on September 16, 2021.