Responding to a growing teacher shortage

As reported by The News & Observer and in The Hendersonville Times-News in August 2022, North Carolina public schools started the new school year “with thousands of unfilled teaching positions and thousands of other classrooms taught by people who aren’t fully licensed.”

News outlets reported anywhere from 4,400 to 5,500 classroom teacher vacancies across the state. Our local school districts, much like communities across the state, need teachers who are trained, committed, and excited to join other talented educators. The need for educators who represent the breadth of students’ backgrounds, experiences and cultures is greater than ever.

In response to this now widely recognized need for well-trained, qualified teachers, state education leaders created easy-to-follow articulation agreements for teacher preparation between the NC Community College System’s 58 colleges and the UNC System’s four-year colleges. In response, Blue Ridge Community College provides seamless pathways for aspiring teachers who can pursue an associate degree here at home and then go on to pursue a four-year degree in the future.

Associate Degree Programs

Blue Ridge’s associate degree programs in teacher preparation are designed for students who want to enter the teaching profession at any grade level – kindergarten through twelfth grade. Students have two options to choose from while at Blue Ridge. They can choose the Associate in Arts in Teacher Preparation if they’re interested in teaching elementary education, arts education or subjects in the humanities. Or, they can choose the Associate in Science in Teacher Preparation if they want to teach math, science or other STEM subjects. Our academic advisors assist students in choosing the program that best suits their interests and career goals.

Balancing Work, Family and School

Knowing that one size does not fit all, our teacher preparation programs are offered in various formats to accommodate students from all walks of life. We have a fully online option as well as in-person classes during the day and evening. No matter which grade level or discipline our aspiring teachers are interested in, our two-year program makes it easier to balance work, family and school. It can be the jump start a student needs to begin their college career – without leaving a current job or juggling family responsibilities while attending college.

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