Starting Wednesday, students at the Community College of Allegheny County will be able to earn a bachelor’s degree in education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania without leaving CCAC’s North Side campus.
Through a partnership between the two schools, IUP faculty will travel to CCAC to train aspiring fourth-through-eighth grade teachers, with a math or science specialization. CCAC professor of education Stephanie Goloway said, since the state created a separate middle-level certification in 2013, very few students have shown an interest in becoming teachers for these grades.
“In part, because they’re very challenging students to work with," she said. "So, the numbers of people going into that profession are low, which, of course, gives a wonderful opportunity for students who do choose that certification track."
She said students who complete the program will earn an associate’s degree from CCAC and a bachelor's of science in education from IUP. They will be certified to teach general subjects in grades 4 through 6 and math or science in grades 7 and 8.
According to Goloway, students in the program will begin taking some classes from IUP faculty at CCAC in their sophomore year. They will pay $104 per credit for 73 to 75 credits for CCAC classes and $403 for each of the remaining 50 credits from IUP-taught classes.
“Hands down, it’s the most cost-effective alternative to getting that degree in western Pennsylvania,” she said.
According to Goloway, in addition to the A.A. and B.S. degrees, students in the program will also receive full Pennsylvania certification.
Michelle Fryling, executive director for communications at IUP, said the university is, "Proud to be part of this new initiative.”
“Anytime we can reach out to more students in the region and offer them some opportunities for success to achieve their educational goals, it’s a win-win," she said.
The new semester begins Tuesday and the first IUP-taught class starts Wednesday, for CCAC students who were already pursuing an associate's degree in education. The first full cohort of students for the program begins in September.