WKU Regional Campus News
Elementary Education Bachelor Completion Coming to Somerset, Lake Cumberland Region
- Susan Flanders Esters
- Thursday, December 2nd, 2021
New program offered through a collaboration between University Center of Southern Kentucky, Western Kentucky University, and Somerset Community College
Somerset, Ky. – Western Kentucky University (WKU) and the University Center of Southern Kentucky (UCSK) have signed a Memorandum of Agreement to offer a 2+2 Elementary Education degree completion in Somerset and the Lake Cumberland Region.
Beginning Fall 2022, students can complete an associate degree through Somerset Community College (SCC) and a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education through WKU. All courses will be offered at the SCC Campus, Laurel Campus, or four SCC centers in Casey, Clinton, McCreary, and Russell counties through a combination of in-person and hybrid formats. Graduates will be certified teachers for grades P-5.
“This is an exciting opportunity for students in southeastern Kentucky, and it shows what colleges and universities can do when a need exists and the community supports the outcome,” stated Dr. Carey Castle, SCC President and CEO. “The ability for students to get their Elementary Education bachelor’s degree is something this area needs desperately, so this agreement makes a lot of sense.”
According to Dr. Sue Keesey, Director of WKU’s School of Teacher Education, there is a significant teacher shortage throughout the Commonwealth and many schools are in desperate need of qualified full-time teachers, especially within the Somerset-Lake Cumberland region.
“Adding Elementary Education to the list of degree completion programs in the region allows us to fill a significant educational need and respond to the teacher shortage facing many rural communities,” said Keesey.
Dr. Timothy C. Caboni, WKU President, stated that WKU embraces students learning from a distance and understands the importance of addressing the needs of regional communities.
“We must work with our key stakeholders to reimagine possibilities; and we must aggressively provide solutions,” President Caboni said. “This program provides a clear example of how strong partnerships benefit our students, our communities, and our Commonwealth.”
Castle echoed that sentiment and said he is confident this partnership will have a positive impact for years to come.
“We look forward to working closely with WKU to help a wide variety of students to not only begin a very important career but benefit their future students as they become teachers at our elementary schools,” stated Castle.
“SCC, the UCSK, and WKU are continuing to work together to help students succeed and we look forward to more partnerships in the future.”
With the addition of Elementary Education, WKU now offers four degree completion programs in the Somerset region through a partnership with the UCSK. Two years ago, they signed agreements to offer Sociology, Criminology, and Management at WKU in Somerset.
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Not every student can move away to further their education. Many students desire to obtain education and certifications, but specific curriculums are not accessible where they live. They want to become more employable and improve their community's employability, and this pathway is one way to provide access to higher levels of education – stay here, finish here!
Contact: Susan Flanders Esters, firstname.lastname@example.org