Agreement creates new teacher education pathway

August 23, 2021

North Carolina education leaders signed an agreement Monday to address the critical teacher shortage in the state.

North Carolina Community College System President Thomas Stith and University of North Carolina System President Peter Hans announced a new agreement that will increase opportunities for community college students to transfer to teacher education programs within the university system. It is effective fall 2021.

Community College System President Thomas Stith and UNC System President Peter Hans display the agreement they signed to ease transfer between their systems.

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 then transfer to an educator preparation program to complete a bachelor’s degree and become a licensed teacher in the K-12 system.

The arrangement covers 52 of North Carolina’s 58 community colleges, including Wayne Community College, and 15 universities within the UNC System. Additional community colleges will offer the new transfer degrees for fall 2022.

“The articulation agreements between the North Carolina Community College System and the University of North Carolina System will afford our students a seamless transition to any of the four-year teacher education programs across the state. These opportunities will simultaneously provide immediate cost savings to our future teachers and address the critical teacher shortage across North Carolina,” said Brandon Jenkins, WCC interim vice president of academic and student services.

“These articulation agreements are specifically for our Associate in Arts in Teacher Preparation and Associate in Science in Teacher Preparation graduates. These two degrees are fairly new to the community college system and they were effective for WCC in Spring 2021,” Jenkins said. “The articulation agreement guarantees AATP and ASTP graduates will have all of their courses accepted as-is and count towards a teaching degree at the university of their choice.”

“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.”

The NCCCS also has a uniform articulation agreement in Teacher Preparation with the 24 signatory institutions of North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities. It is intended to provide smooth transfer for community college students who wish to continue their education in teacher preparation at an NCICU Signatory Institution.

In addition to the Uniform Articulation Agreement in Teacher Education/Educator Preparation, NCCCS and the UNC System have uniform articulation agreements in Fine Arts – Music, Fine Arts – Theatre, Fine Arts – Visual Arts, engineering, early childhood education, Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) in addition to the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement, which enables graduates of two-year Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degree programs who are admitted to constituent institutions of the UNC System to transfer with junior status.

About WCC
Wayne Community College is a public, learning-centered institution with an open-door admission policy located in Goldsboro, N.C. As it works to develop a highly skilled and competitive workforce, the college serves more than 10,000 individuals annually as well as businesses, industry, and community organizations with high quality, affordable, accessible learning opportunities, including more than 165 college credit programs. WCC’s mission is to meet the educational, training, and cultural needs of the communities it serves. Connect with WCC at waynecc.edu.

About the North Carolina Community College System
North Carolina’s community college system comprises “The Great 58” community colleges throughout the state. It is the third largest community college system in the nation that serves more than 500,000 students a year. The mission of the North Carolina Community College System is to open the door to high-quality, accessible educational opportunities that minimize barriers to post-secondary education, maximize student success, develop a globally and multi-culturally competent workforce, and improve the lives and well-being of individuals. Thomas A. Stith III is the system’s 10th president. The system is controlled by the State Board of Community Colleges, chaired by Dr. Breeden Blackwell. Students who attended NC community colleges from July 2009 to June 2019 accounted for 33 percent of all North Carolina wage earners, totaling 1.7 million people and $60 billion wages earned in Fiscal Year 2020.

About the University of North Carolina System
The University of North Carolina System enrolls more than 240,000 students at 17 campuses, including the state’s 16 public universities and the nation’s first public residential high school for academically gifted students. The UNC System is among the strongest and most diverse higher education systems in the country, with over $1.5 billion in research expenditures and universities that serve every region of the state. Affiliate organizations include UNC Health and PBS North Carolina, with its 12-station broadcast network.

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