Original article by NC Community Colleges
August 23, 2021 – North Carolina education leaders signed an agreement Monday to address the critical teacher shortage in the state. President Thomas Stith of the North Carolina Community College System and President Peter Hans of the University of North Carolina System made a joint announcement of their new Comprehensive Articulation Agreement that will increase opportunities for community college students to transfer to teacher education programs within the UNC System. It is effective fall 2021.
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 at a community college and then transfer to one of the educator preparation programs within the UNC System to complete a bachelor’s degree and become a licensed teacher in the K-12 system.
The agreement includes 52 of North Carolina’s “Great 58” community colleges and 15 universities within the UNC System. Additional community colleges will offer the new transfer degrees for fall 2022.
“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.”
“Each student in North Carolina deserves to have access to a great teacher but, like many states, ours has struggled to fill critical teaching vacancies, particularly in rural communities,” said Brenda Berg, president and CEO, BEST NC. “The new articulation agreement for teacher preparation between the NC Community College and the UNC System is a powerful step forward. It helps ensure we can recruit and prepare the next generation of teachers through a high-quality pathway into the profession that begins just a few miles from home.”
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, 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 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 president (10th). 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% of all North Carolina wage earners, totaling 1.7M people and $60B wages earned in FY 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.