Fort Hays State University's College of Education and Technology is entering into agreements with community colleges statewide to help enhance the transition students make from community colleges to FHSU to earn a teaching degree that will lead to a Kansas teaching license.
"The College of Education and Technology as a whole has looked for ways we can support the students who wish to seek a degree in teaching," said Dr. Germaine Taggart, chair of the Department of Teacher Education.
At a recent Community College Day, the Department of Teacher Education invited representatives from all 19 Kansas community colleges to the university to discuss issues affecting that transition. Representatives from nine attended and worked with the Department of Teacher Education, Virtual College, Registrar and College of Education and Technology licensure faculty and staff to align coursework for a smooth transition to FHSU.
The solution was for the College of Education and Technology to enter into "Two Plus Two Agreements," in which community colleges and four-year schools coordinate on required courses and course transferability. This will help students move smoothly from two years of community college to two years of university and graduate with a license to teach.
Brochures specific to each community college will outline a four-year plan. Education faculty advisors from each of the community colleges will work with their students to begin the plan. The courses and grades from the community college will be recorded in the brochure which is signed by student and advisor and then sent to the university’s Teacher Education Department to prepare for the transfer. As students are admitted to FHSU, the document will assist with timely enrollment.
The program will be available for the Early Childhood Unified and the K-6 TEAM Elementary Education programs. Early Childhood Unified combines early childhood education and special education into one major. The TEAM program is the standard teacher program for grades K through 6. A special education minor can be obtained with the TEAM program.
"There are a number of teachers now nearing retirement, so it's a good time for students to get their teaching licenses and renew that workforce," said Taggart. "We want to make it as seamless as possible."
Taggart and Dennis King, director of the Virtual College and learning technologies, have been working together to help plan these programs.
They are expected to be available by fall 2009.
Participating Community Colleges are:
Barton Community College, Butler Community College, Cloud County Community College, Colby Community College, Garden City Community College, Fort Scott Community College, Johnson County Community College, Labette Community College and Dodge City Community College.