On Thursday, August 17, Stanly Community College (SCC) and Stanly County Schools took their first step in a partnership that has the potential to address the growing need for qualified and passionate teachers. SCC President Dr. John Enamait and Superintendent of Stanly County Schools Dr. Jarrod Dennis signed a Memorandum of Understanding that provides the necessary framework for Stanly Community College to serve as an Educator Preparation Program (EPP) for elementary education teachers seeking residency licensure in Stanly County.

In fall 2022, NC public schools saw a 58.4% increase in teacher vacancies; this percentage translates to over 5,000 teaching vacancies. In response, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) collaborated with the North Carolina Community College System to develop Cultivating Carolina Classrooms. This program allows NC community colleges to become NCDPI approved EPPs that provide a critically needed residency licensure pathway for elementary education. Stanly Community College has joined the Cultivating Carolina Classrooms initiative and this licensure pathway is now open to individuals who have completed a bachelor’s degree and have obtained a position in a school system that requires a teaching license.

“This initiative only continues to grow an already strong partnership between our two institutions. I’m thankful to Sue Drake for her work in developing this program and to Stanly County Schools for supporting this initiative in the name of community success, which is part of our strategic plan at the college. The true winners are our students in Stanly County Schools. It is an exciting day when you can execute agreements that put students first,” said Enamait.

Dr. Dennis echoed these statements and added, “Thank you to Stanly Community College for their work in this endeavor. It is so important to put highly qualified teachers in our classrooms; this program is especially needed as we have individuals who graduate from college and later decide to pursue a career in education. We want to empower our staff and students for success and Cultivating Carolina Classrooms provides a licensure pathway for these individuals to serve in the classroom and become qualified for a NC teaching license.”

Individuals interested in learning more about this exciting new program can visit https://www.stanly.edu/academics/health-sciences-public-service/epp-residency. Spring registration opens November 13.