Lees-McRae Partners with RichmondCC on Teacher Education Transfer Pathway
April 14, 2021 – Lees-McRae College is the latest school to partner with Richmond Community College on “Growing Our Own Teachers,” a transfer program for future North Carolina teachers.
Leaders from both schools made the partnership official on Tuesday with a signing of the articulation agreement that creates a seamless transfer pathway for RichmondCC students to continue their education at Lees-McRae to become teachers.
“We are very excited to partner with Richmond Community College. We think there are some great opportunities for your students to join us at Lees-McRae,” said Kevin Phillips, Vice President of Enrollment for Lees-McRae College. “We’ve been really focusing on education for a long, long time. There are so many teachers throughout the state of North Carolina that actually got their degree from Lees-McRae, not only in elementary education but also in special education.”
Phillips said the college recently added a Master of Arts in Teaching for those interested in teaching secondary level education.
For the transfer program, RichmondCC developed two new degrees, an Associate in Arts-Teacher Prep and an Associate in Science-Teacher Prep.
“This is a great day as we create another option for our students and their families,” said Dr. Dale McInnis, President of RichmondCC. “What this boils down to is a two-year degree with four education classes that will make it seamless for our graduates to go directly into the school of education at Lees-McRae and leave licensed and ready to go to work.”
McInnis noted that not every four-year degree also includes a teaching license. He also explained that this initiative will grow more teachers for the state.
Research has proven that graduates in education who begin their teaching careers in the same regions and school districts where they live are more likely to remain teaching in North Carolina public schools.
RichmondCC students who take advantage of the transfer pathway to Lees-McRae can complete the teaching degree online.
“One of the best things about Lees-McRae is the size of our school. Collectively, we have about 1,000 students,” Phillips said. “So we are small, but we can obviously focus on the students, even through the online degree completion program.”
Students can also choose to take classes in person at Lees-McRae’s main campus in Banner Elk.
RichmondCC graduates will get discounts on tuition at Lees-McRae, and any student employed with a school district will get additional tuition discounts.
At RichmondCC, students can save money on tuition through the RichmondCC Guarantee, which provides two years free tuition to eligible students, or any student who plans to pursue a teaching career can apply for the Lois McKay Smith Memorial Scholarship.
The signing with Lees-McRae comes a month after the University of North Carolina-Pembroke also partnered with RichmondCC on the “Growing Our Own Teachers” transfer program.
To learn more about this teacher education program, contact the Career & Transfer Center by calling (910) 410-1700 or visit RichmondCC’s Hamlet Campus or Scotland County Campus to meet with a counselor. The College is now registering students for summer and fall classes. Apply online for free.