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NC Education Leaders Address Increasing Statewide Teacher Pipeline, Articulation agreement creates a new pathway from community colleges to UNC


North Carolina education leaders signed an agreement recently to address the critical teacher shortage in the state. President Thomas Stith of the North Carolina Community College System and President Peter Hans of the University of North Carolina System made a joint announcement of their new Comprehensive Articulation Agreement to increase opportunities for community college students to transfer to teacher education programs within the UNC System. It is effective fall 2021.

The Uniform Articulation Agreement in Teacher Education / Educator Preparation is focused on developing a seamless transfer for students who begin teacher preparation studies in the Associate in Arts in Teacher Preparation and the Associate in Science in Teacher Preparation programs at a community college and then transfer to one of the educator preparation programs within the UNC System to complete a bachelor’s degree and become a licensed teacher in the K-12 system.

The agreement includes 15 universities within the UNC System. At Haywood Community College, the Teacher Preparation degree began this fall. After completing the two-year degree, students can utilize the Articulation Agreement to transfer to the University of North Carolina System with junior status. Students must obtain a grade of “C” or better in each course and an overall GPA of at least 2.7. This teacher preparation degree is available to Career and College Promise high school students and traditional students.  

“The signing of these agreements lets us simplify processes and remove barriers for students to continue their education in North Carolina,” said Stith. “We appreciate this needed opportunity to better align with partners within the UNC System to accelerate student progress and support the teacher education pipeline in North Carolina.”

“By creating intentional pathways from community colleges to the UNC System, we will be able to recruit and prepare more teachers for our growing state,” said Hans. “Our goal is also to diversify and strengthen the teacher corps to benefit all students.”

“Each student in North Carolina deserves to have access to a great teacher but, like many states, ours has struggled to fill critical teaching vacancies, particularly in rural communities,” said Brenda Berg, president and CEO, BEST NC. “The new articulation agreement for teacher preparation between the NC Community College and the UNC System is a powerful step forward. It helps ensure we can recruit and prepare the next generation of teachers through a high-quality pathway into the profession that begins just a few miles from home.”

In addition to the Uniform Articulation Agreement in Teacher Education / Educator Preparation, NCCCS and the UNC System have uniform articulation agreements in Fine Arts – Music, Fine Arts – Theatre, Fine Arts – Visual Arts, engineering, early childhood education, RN to BSN in addition to the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement, which enables graduates of two-year Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degree programs who are admitted to constituent institutions of the UNC System to transfer with junior status.

Students who follow the progression degree plan will have 60 hours applied to constituent institutions of the University of North Carolina System. This agreement does not guarantee student acceptance into any bachelor program at University of North Carolina (UNC) institutions. Teacher Preparation students must meet applicable admissions criteria and policies designated by, and earn admission into, the UNC constituent institution of their choice. These criteria and admissions requirements may include (but are not limited to) minimum GPA and Praxis scores and their associated timelines, as published by each university’s Bachelor Degree in Teacher Education-related programs.

Fall semester at HCC is underway, but late-start classes are still available in 12-week and 8-week sessions.

Transfer Options