RALEIGH – North Carolina faces a looming teacher shortage – though it’s now the 9th most-populous state in the country, it saw a 30% decline in enrollment at state colleges of education from 2010-2015.1
But an effort is underway in Johnston County to make teaching more inviting by letting students start their education at Johnston Community College, obtain an associate degree in teaching, then complete a bachelor’s degree at NC State University’s College of Education. 2
“This is a great example of how the public schools, the community colleges and universities can work more closely together,” Peter Hans, President of the NC Community College System, says in the accompanying video.
“There are programs in development, particularly (in) Johnston County, between the public schools, the community college and North Carolina State University, to promote more teachers, find a way to hold down their student debt – because those are modest salaries at the end of the day – and a way to keep those students actually in their communities, where they’re needed the most.”
The state also faces a nursing shortage, and the Johnston County effort with teachers is similar to an effort community colleges and universities have developed to address that problem, Hans says.
The RIBN program allows students to take a mixture of community-college and university classes and graduate with a four-year nursing degree for less than $20,000 in tuition and fees.3
“We need more rural health-care providers,” Hans says.
“If our community colleges, working in tandem with our university partners, can provide those nursing degrees and keep those students in their communities where they’re needed the most, that’s a big win.”
1 https://www.wral.com/unc-system-reports-declining-enrollment-in-teacher-programs/15315475/; http://www.higheredworksfoundation.org/2017/11/uncc-teacher-pipeline/.
2 http://www.higheredworksfoundation.org/2017/10/teacher-pay/; https://www.ednc.org/2018/06/13/governors-education-cabinet-takes-on-teacher-recruitment/.