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Catawba College offers ‘flex pathways’ to teaching

Catawba College’s department of teacher education offers several pathways that allow students greater flexibility to complete education majors and minors while providing options for future careers as educators.

These pathways, the traditional licensure route and the nonlicensure route, help equip graduates for different journeys as educators after they leave Catawba. Students who simply want to get some education coursework under their belts as undergraduates without committing to a career as a teacher also have the option to pursue an education studies minor

In the traditional pathway, students who meet the minimum GPA requirement of 2.75 are admitted into a nationally accredited program, complete student teaching, and earn a recommendation for full licensure. This traditional pathway requires students to complete a series of standardized assessments to obtain licensure.

Historically, Catawba’s program graduates have been in high demand, have entered the teaching profession with all requirements completed for an initial teaching license and have qualified for licensure in other states.

The nonlicensure pathway is for students who want to work in public or private schools that do not require teachers to have a teaching license, but who still want a solid preparation in developing the skills to teach; who want a “head start” on alternative routes to licensure such as the N.C. Residency License; or who want to develop knowledge and skills useful in industry or university teaching.

While there is a minimum GPA requirement of 2.50 and work in the public schools often requires a criminal background check, students in the nonlicensure pathway are not required to pass the standardized assessments required of students in the traditional, licensure pathway. The nonlicensure pathway allows students to continue in education coursework and earn an education degree or minor without seeking licensure.

Both the licensure and nonlicensure pathways are academically rigorous, and the “FLEX Pathway” model allows Catawba students to transition between pathways as plans change.

The educational studies minor allows students in any major to obtain coursework that may assist them later in obtaining licensure in areas for which Catawba does not have state approval such as business, computer science or Spanish. No application for admission is necessary but a declaration of the education studies minor is required.

Students pursuing the educational studies minor may qualify for residency license positions with LEAs after graduation and will be equipped with much of the coursework needed for residency license. Students should be aware that the state requires a minimum, cumulative GPA of 2.7 on the undergraduate degree for residency licensure.

Furthermore, Catawba offers no assurances that these courses will be accepted by other institutions.

Karla Fragoso-Perez, who will graduate in May, said she is pleased that she declared and pursued an educational studies minor. 

“I chose the educational studies minor offered at Catawba because it enables me to have a perspective of the teaching profession just as those who are majoring in the education program,” she said. “One of the things I love about this minor is that I can start teaching while working to obtain my professional education licensure.”

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