BCTC, EKU launching program to help fast-track education majors to the classroom

BCTC, EKU launching program to help fast-track education majors to the classroom
Published: Mar. 24, 2022 at 10:48 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky continues to face a teacher shortage driven by several factors, including the pandemic.

More teachers are retiring or leaving the profession faster than the rate of students finishing degrees in education.

For those anxious to become teachers, a new program between two Kentucky colleges will fast-track education majors into their own classroom.

“The teacher shortage is huge,” said Melanie Williamson, an academic dean at BCTC.

It’s why BCTC and EKU are rolling out what they call the 2+2 Educational Program. It’ll launch in August and help get aspiring teachers in their own classroom much sooner.

“We really want to try to get as many teachers as we can prepared to go out and fill those places,” Williamson said.

A study released last month by the Kentucky Department of Education revealed the number of people completing teacher training in Kentucky dropped by 37% within a decade, which is higher than the national average.

But many still want to be teachers.

“I just feel like teachers are a really important role in students’ lives. Even if they don’t have father figures or mother figures, teachers can be that role,” BCTC student Graydon Milburn said.

Milburn is an aspiring elementary teacher after working at his local Boys and Girls Club.

“I just hope to be a teacher that students can come to whenever they’re having trouble, difficulties,” Milburn said.

Starting in August, students like Milburn will be able to start at BCTC for two years and earn their associate degree in elementary education. Then they’ll be able to enroll at EKU to earn their bachelor’s degree in the same amount of time, getting these future teachers in a classroom as soon as possible.

“The passion is there. And they are going to follow it,” Williamson said.

BCTC is working with current students to see how they can get their credits transferred so they can benefit from this program as well.

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