PEMBROKE — UNC Pembroke and Richmond Community College are making it easier for Scotland and Richmond County residents to become teachers.
Last week a signing ceremony was held to unveil a new teacher education program at Richmond Community College. The program will culminate in a K-6 teaching degree and ultimately teacher licensure from nearby UNC Pembroke.
The announcement came during a “Growing Our Own!” Teacher Education Program held on the Richmond campus.
Chancellor Robin Gary Cummings said UNCP is focused on creating new “Pathways to Success” for students in Southeastern North Carolina.
“There is no career pathway more important than for our teachers,” Cummings said. “This exciting partnership builds on our strong relationship with Richmond Community College and UNCP’s nearly 130-year history of preparing educators to serve our region.”
The university, originally known as the Croatan Normal School, was created in 1887 to train teachers.
“Although the university’s academic offerings have expanded greatly into business, social work, nursing, just to name a few, our teacher education programs are as central to UNCP and as important to us as ever,” Cummings said.
Dr. Dale McInnis, Richmond Community College president, said the transfer program is an affordable and accessible way for the many people who would like to become a teacher to earn their bachelor’s degree in Education.
“This K-6 teaching degree program provides quality, convenience and value, and we are excited to be working with UNCP to make this career path possible and help put more teachers in the classrooms of North Carolina,” McInnis said.
RCC students will be able to enroll in the transfer program beginning this fall. Students who complete the associate degree will have the opportunity to transfer to UNC Pembroke and finish the bachelor of science degree in Elementary Education.
Students will take UNCP classes online and through distance education learning options at Richmond’s main campus in Hamlet.
“One of the biggest challenges our students face is transportation, so this collaborative effort with UNCP opens more doors for more people to pursue the careers they want,” said McInnis, a UNCP alumnus.
Also providing remarks during the announcement were Sen. Tom McInnis and Rep. Ken Goodman. Dr. Cindy Goodman, superintendent of Richmond County Schools, and members of Richmond County School Board and Richmond Senior High School Teacher Cadets were in attendance.
Chancellor Cummings pointed out that 36 percent of certified educators in Richmond County schools are graduates of UNC Pembroke; and 41 percent in Scotland County schools. Richmond and Scotland counties are home to 2,200 UNCP alumni.
UNC Pembroke is committed and focused on changing lives through education.
“The teachers who graduate from this program will perpetuate that mission as they educate young minds in Richmond County, Scotland County and wherever they are led to make a difference,” Cummings said.
For information about the program, call 910-410-1700.
Mark Locklear is a Public Communications specialist with UNCP. Reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 910-521-6351.