A-B Tech Community College’s Early Childhood Education department has expanded its support of growing local educators. The department’s name has changed and the scope of its work has expanded to include not only early childhood education but also K-12 education teacher preparation in response to the growing need for qualified teachers for all ages in North Carolina.
The newly named department of Education now includes two new degrees in Teacher Preparation to complement their existing Early Childhood Education degrees. The department of Education now supports teacher preparation from birth through 12th grade.
The Associate of Arts and Associate of Science in Teacher Preparation will be two-year degrees that allow students to identify as education/teacher preparation majors while enrolled at A-B Tech, according to Jennifer Bosworth, Department Chair of Education. “These new degrees would create opportunities for high school students who desire to enter the education field through the Career and College Promise. These degrees will bring our students education-focused courses and practical experience in classrooms through observations and lab hours with school-age students prior to transferring to a senior institution, allowing them to begin to identify themselves at future teachers while still here at A-B Tech” she said.
The Education program will still offer Early Childhood Associate, Early Childhood: Licensure Transfer Track and Early Childhood: Non-Licensure Transfer Track for students interested in teaching children birth to kindergarten.
“Currently, in Madison and Buncombe Counties, there are 32 vacancies for licensed teachers,” Bosworth said. “These degrees will help support the growth of future teachers to fill vacancies in our community. These degrees will also help the College respond to future changes from the North Carolina Community College System office.” The NCCCS is in the process of becoming an Education Preparation Provider (EPP) through the NC Department of Public Instruction.
“These degrees are also a great option for folks who are wanting to become teacher assistants. The education requirements do not require that they have an associate degree, but they are required to have a certain number of credit hours,” Bosworth said. A degree from A-B Tech would give graduates the option of transferring to earn a bachelor’s degree in education.
A-B Tech is part of the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement (CAA) and the Independent Comprehensive Articulation Agreement (ICAA) enables North Carolina community college graduates of two-year associate in arts programs who are admitted to constituent institutions of The University of North Carolina and to Signatory Institutions of North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities to transfer with junior status.