Nearly two years after a series of meetings at the Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce, the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville (UACCB), and Lyon College signed a set of agreements yesterday that will provide seamless transfer from the two-year college to the four-year college for students seeking degrees that prepare them to teach in the public schools, according to a press release from the chamber.
The goals of the group, which included administrators and curriculum coordinators from area school districts, and representatives from UACCB and Lyon, were to seek ways to “grow our own” quality teachers locally with minimal debt and to target pathways to shortage areas such as math and science, the release noted.
The meetings were arranged by Novella Humphrey, director of curriculum/federal programs at Southside Schools.
Deborah Frazier, chancellor at UACCB, and Dr. W. Joseph King, president of Lyon College, signed five Memorandums of Understanding that lay out the course pathways that will allow UACCB students completing the Associate of Arts in General Education to move directly into Lyon’s Elementary Education program and or the Secondary Education programs in English and history. UACCB graduates earning the Associate of Science-STEM will enter Lyon’s Secondary Education programs in biology or math.
The degree plans will afford students the opportunity to earn degrees from both institutions efficiently, which will reduce both the time to degree and overall cost. Qualified UACCB graduates will thus enter Lyon as juniors. Officials with both institutions will review the agreements annually to oversee any changes which might become necessary, such as the state changing licensing requirements.
Students will complete all general education requirements at UACCB, as well as electives which will vary as needed to support the individual major at Lyon. Students seeking to teach English, for instance, will take Introduction to K-12 Educational Technology as an elective, while those planning to teach history will take Arkansas History instead. Future biology teachers will take electives like Botany, Zoology, and Microbiology, while future math teachers will take Philosophy, Calculus I and II, and Introduction to Programming. Classes taken at Lyon as juniors and seniors will then address the requirements of each individual academic major.
Dr. Kimberly Crosby, director of teacher education at Lyon, expects to see more students with the goal of teaching enrolling at both institutions instead of leaving the area to complete their education.
“We expect that students who stay in the area and do their internships in local schools will be more likely to seek employment in this part of the state,” Crosby said.
The new cooperative program will thus benefit local communities by providing a steady stream of qualified new teachers, the report stated.
Image via Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce / Video by WhiteRiverNow.com
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