University of Charleston to offer education major in Beckley thi - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

University of Charleston to offer education major in Beckley this fall

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University of Charleston President Ed Welch announced today the school will begin offering some of its education bachelor's degree programs at UC-Beckley this fall.

Education bachelor's degrees will now be available for students at UC-Beckley this fall for elementary education, elementary education and special education, and elementary studies and child development (non-certification degree). UC is also working closely with New River Community and Technical College as part of a recently announced articulation agreement to provide a 2+2 pathway for students with an associate of applied science degree in paraprofessional education to continue their college career and attain a bachelor's degree.

"Training the next generation of teachers is vitally important for our region and we are proud to begin offering our established education program at UC-Beckley," Dr. Welch said in a press release.

UC will host an informational session for prospective students at UC-Beckley's Learning Resource Center on August 8th at 6 p.m. The event will take place in the media classroom located on the third floor.

The need for dedicated, effective, and motivated education is high. According to the United States Department of Labor, a significant number of elementary teachers are expected to reach retirement age from 2010 to 2020 causing the need for elementary education teachers to grow by 17 percent. In December 2012, the West Virginia Department of Education reported that nearly 11,000 of the state's 24,000 public school educators are eligible to retire within the next five years. Also, the need for special education teachers in West Virginia elementary schools is expected to grow by 21 percent between 2010 and 2020.

"Obtaining a degree in education from the University of Charleston provides students with not only the tools to be a great, innovative and unique educator, it also ensures their future stability in this ever changing workforce, said UC Education Department Chair Calandra Lockhart. "With our supportive faculty, we assist our students in meeting individual goals and reaching their highest potential."