New Program Aims to Make More Teachers in the Region

Dr. Vann Newkirk

If you live in Halifax County, and want to be a teacher, but perhaps commuting to Elizabeth City State University each day for classes is a problem, there is now a solution.

Halifax County Community College (HCC) and ECSU have partnered to create the 2+2 Teacher Prep Program, and that means Halifax students don’t need to leave home to complete a four-year degree.

Many times in the rural communities of northeastern North Carolina, the opportunity to complete and four-year degree and do great things is thwarted due to economic constraints. There are people who just can’t leave a full time job to attend university classes an hour’s drive or more from home.

The 2+2 program is one way to solve that dilemma. Students living and working in Halifax County can now complete their Associate Arts degree and then enroll at ECSU, but not leave the Halifax campus to finish a four-year degree in elementary education.

Halifax students participating in the program take all of the courses at HCC, or through distance learning. Students are provided with orientation to help them navigate the transition from a community college to ECSU.

There is a site coordinator at HCC, and student advisors are available to assist the 2+2 Program students.

Elizabeth City State University adjunct professor, Dr. Mary Stephenson, is working in Halifax County to facilitate the program. According to Dr. Stephenson, students are able to successfully finish their degrees while working full time jobs because classes are held in the evenings.

“These students could not have done the degree without the 2+2 Teacher Prep Program,” said Dr. Stephenson.

Some students will go on to graduate school, earning a graduate degree or National Board Certification in teaching.

Teachers are needed all across North Carolina. Elizabeth City State University’s original mission when founded in 1891 was to produce teachers for the region. Today ECSU is still producing teachers, and creating stronger programs to provide educators for years to come.