Growing Teachers Close To Home: New SECU Partnership East Students Prepare for their Online Journey

On Thursday, May 12, 2016, the College of Education welcomed five cohorts who will be joining State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) Partnership East this summer and fall. Students spent the day in Speight Building learning about their new majors in elementary, middle, and special education from College of Education advisors and faculty members. In addition, these new teacher education students toured the Teaching Resource Center in Joyner Library as well as spent time getting to know their new advisors and fellow cohort members.

SECU Partnership East students will begin their degree programs this summer or in the fall where they will take courses online with East Carolina University faculty. Intrusive advising and field placements in the students’ home-counties are incorporated into the SECU Partnership East degree completion programs. The goal of SECU Partnership East is to grow teachers close to home to provide access to teacher education degrees in rural areas. This year marks the 14th year of Partnership East which has graduated 732 teachers since its inception in 2002. Students in the new cohorts live primarily in rural eastern North Carolina but this newest crop of future teachers also includes individuals from the piedmont and mountain regions of North Carolina.

The new cohort orientation offered participants with an opportunity to interact with their advisor and fellow students with whom they will learn in a variety of virtual platforms over the next few years. One participant shared, “I can’t believe I’ve made it this far. I’m really and truly a Pirate now.” Students were also provided with detailed information about resources at East Carolina to include academic regulations, library resources, and other academic support systems for distance education students.

SECU Partnership East involves a partnership between East Carolina University, North Carolina community colleges, and public school systems. Students can pursue degrees in elementary education, middle grades education, and special education general curriculum. The degrees are offered in a part-time format for all 3 degrees with full-time options available for elementary education. To qualify, students must have prerequisite coursework from a North Carolina community college as well as meet testing and grade requirements. For more information about SECU Partnership East, interested individuals are encouraged to visit: www.ecu.edu/pe or contact Dr. Laura Bilbro-Berry at bilbroberryl@ecu.edu or 252-328-1123.

Enjoy a video slideshow of the orientation below: