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Upstate Community College Establishes New School to Tackle Teacher Demand

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Upstate Community College Establishes New School to Tackle Teacher Demand

An Innovative Approach to Meet the Growing Demand for Qualified Teachers

In response to the continuing and dire need for skilled educators in the region, Spartanburg Community College is launching a new School of Education. The college’s initiative builds on its existing Early Care and Education (ECE) program, providing diverse and pioneering pathways for people eager to enter the teaching profession.

Addressing the Increasing Demand for Teachers in South Carolina

In its 2023-24 South Carolina Educator Supply and Demand Report, the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement (CERRA) revealed a 9% rise in teacher vacancies from the previous school year in the state. The trend shows no signs of slowing down, with projections estimating over 1,700 annual vacancies for elementary school teachers, 730 for middle school teachers, and 1,150 for secondary school teachers across the state by 2026.

Investing in the Future of Education

Dr. Michael Mikota, president of Spartanburg Community College, emphasizes the importance of this strategic investment. “The creation of a School of Education is a strategic investment in our future that empowers individuals to become well-equipped educators who nurture the next generation from cradle to career,” mentioned Dr. Mikota. “Not only is this initiative a financially viable option for those seeking an education pathway, but it also fosters sustainable growth and prosperity in our region.”

The ECE Program and Its Role in Community Development

The college’s ECE program plays a critical role in shaping the children and families in Spartanburg, Cherokee, and Union counties. Providing quality trained professionals for childcare centers, preschools, public schools, Head Start programs, and private kindergartens, the program aims to uplift the quality of childcare in the communities served by the college.

Expanding the Scope of Education Programs

In the new school, the emphasis will not only be on nurturing and expanding the ECE program but also on creating groundbreaking programs. These programs will be designed to specifically cater to the soaring demand for adept, certified teachers in the Upstate.

Leading the Initiative: Benita Yowe

Benita Yowe, who held the position of the college’s Dean of Health Sciences since 2019, has been appointed as the Dean of the School of Education. Yowe will take the helm of the school’s operations, steering its growth and ensuring its programs match academic standards and prepare students for careers in education.

Yowe, an educator for 30 years, understands the importance of teacher preparation. She emphasized the school’s commitment to delivering quality education. “With the tremendous growth and momentum across the Upstate, the need for quality childcare and excellent schools is paramount. The School of Education is committed to addressing that need. As dean, I will work diligently to promote the School of Education and propel the college’s vision to contribute towards the growth and excellence of education in Spartanburg and its neighboring counties,” Yowe stated.

The launch of the new School of Education at Spartanburg Community College is a testament to the proactive approach of the institution in responding to the escalating teacher shortage. By doing so, the college sets an example of creating sustainable solutions to nationwide educational challenges.

Upstate Community College Establishes New School to Tackle Teacher Demand Spartanburg SC

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