CCC to offer teaching degree

Associate program will make it easier for students to transfer

Education Beat


After graduating from college, Emily Poole wants to teach elementary school children, preferably kindergartners or first-graders.

But in order to become a teacher, the second-year Carroll Community College student has to transfer to a four-year college to finish her degree and get a teaching certificate.

Poole, 22, of Sykesville, said a new degree program being offered at Carroll Community College will make it easier for her and other students who want to become teachers to transfer to another college.

Starting in the spring semester, CCC will offer a new associate of arts degree in teaching that is focused on early childhood education.

College officials said the courses offered through the new program would be accepted at four-year institutions in the state, so students can seamlessly transfer.

"There's actually quite a few different schools that the program transfers into," Poole said. She said she chose Towson University because it is close enough to home that she can commute.

"For a lot of the other programs, not all of the classes transfer to the bigger universities," Poole said.

The new program was developed with faculty and administrators from the state's higher education institutions to address the need for educators, said Marlene Welch, co-chair of the program's development team and associate professor at Carroll.

"In the state of Maryland, there's a critical need for early childhood education teachers with the advent of all-day kindergarten," Welch said.

Other associate degrees in education are offered at Carroll, but the new program is focused on teaching and is designed specifically for students who will be transferring, said James Ball, vice president of academic and student affairs and dean of the faculty at Carroll.

"The whole crux of the degree's approach is to attract more students to teaching," Ball said. He said the new program is designed "to get more students from the community college into the teacher education pipeline."

Welch said students have to get a four-year degree in order to teach, and the new program makes it easier.

College officials said the new program would enable students to complete their degree faster because they won't have to take extra courses.

Poole said having the new program at Carroll is convenient for her and many other students who live in the county because it costs less to attend the community college, and it's closer to home.

While the registration process for classes offered through the program is still taking place, college officials said students expressed interest in the program while it was being developed over the past two years.

Ball said some students, including Poole, will be switching from other education programs at Carroll to meet the requirements of the new program.

Poole said classes offered for the new degree cover topics such as writing lesson plans and child development, which teach students about the appropriate development stages for young children.

Other classes provide an introduction to special education and the experience of working in a public school.

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