Prospective elementary and early childhood education students at Barton Community College will be able to transfer to Fort Hays State University to complete their educations and prepare to seek licensure in Kansas after representatives from the two schools signed what is known as a 2-plus-2 agreement today in Great Bend.
The memorandum of understanding puts in place a partnership that enables degree-seeking students in the areas of elementary and early childhood education to transfer from the community college to the university in a seamless manner, said Dr. Germaine Taggart, chair of the Department of Teacher Education at FHSU.
For several years, said Taggart, community college representatives have met with FHSU education faculty and staff to discuss programs and procedures that would assist students as they make the transition from community college to a four-year school. The discussions have yielded 2-plus-2 agreements with Kansas' community colleges. Barton becomes the seventh community college to enter into a 2-plus-2 in the elementary and early childhood education programs.
The 2-plus-2 agreements lay out exactly what courses students need to graduate with a bachelor's degree. A community college student working toward an associate degree knows in advance what classes are needed both at the community college and at FHSU to end up with a bachelor's degree. The agreement also lays out points of contact between students and faculty advisors at both FHSU and Barton.
In this case, the degree programs are elementary education with a minor in special education and early childhood unified. Both are offered online, face-to-face or in combination. FHSU enables prospective teachers to take coursework in a manner that suits their busy lives and provides a way for them to engage in field experience in schools that are close to their residences. The use of technology by the students and faculty has opened new avenues for obtaining a teaching degree.
FHSU already has teacher education 2-plus-2 agreements in place with Dodge City Community College, Cloud County Community College, Garden City Community College, Seward County Community College, Colby Community College and Pratt Community College.