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Fall Institute 2022: Pre-Panel Discussion
In General Discussion
Oct 18, 2022
My name is Angie Stratton and I have worked with Rio Salado College’s Educator Preparation Program for over 13 years. I have also served Arizona’s K-12 students as a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade teacher, instructional coach and literacy specialist. This is my first year as a NACCTEP executive board member and I am excited to contribute to advancing our work in raising awareness about the pivotal role that community colleges play in teacher education today. From a very young age, I understood how important education was, and still is, to my father. We both attended Southeastern Community College (SCC) in Burlington, Iowa before transferring to the University of Iowa (about twenty years apart). Since I started college at the age of 17, attending a community college was a smart choice as I received personalized guidance and class sizes were relatively small. Reflecting back, the community college offered me a smaller community of peers, one I felt I could get involved in and make a difference. Back then (well over twenty years ago), they didn’t offer a two-year “teacher education” degree that seamlessly transferred to a four-year college. While I graduated, in four years, with approximately 15 credits more than I needed, I wouldn’t change the time I spent at SCC. Not only was it a good value, it gave me the start and support I needed to become the teacher I am today. More than 20 years later, It seems logical to me that community college teacher preparation programs are gaining more recognition as the combination of quality, convenience and affordability are second to none. Since my college days, many community colleges have developed two-year teacher education degrees which easily transfer to a four-year college. It's exciting to note that, pending the Higher Learning Commission’s approval, Rio Salado College (along with Glendale and Paradise Valley Community Colleges) plans to offer a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Elementary Education and Special Education to begin as early as the Fall of 2023. This is certainly something to celebrate! I am proud to be a part of a community college teacher education program that emphasizes high leverage teaching practices, aligns with InTASC Model Core Teaching Standards, and maximizes the use of innovative technology to enhance instruction. Moving forward, we will continue to strengthen and elevate our teacher preparation program, collaborate and connect with our colleagues to share ideas, and continue to shine a spotlight on the benefits of attending a community college teacher preparation program.
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