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Education

Dallas College launches a 4-year bachelor of education program

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The two-year community college system is the first in the state to offer a four-year bachelor's program. Its goal is to graduate more teachers to work in North Texas schools.

Dallas College, a multicampus, two-year college system, just picked a 15-member advisory board for its School of Education. This semester, the school launched a four-year bachelor’s degree in education. KERA talked to vice provost Robert De Haas,with the School of Education for details.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

CONVERSATION HIGHLIGHTS:

How was the advisory board chosen?

We were really fortunate to take advantage of two individuals that are local here, Regen Horchow, and Charles Glover of the Meadows Foundation. Both have been huge advocates of Dallas College but also specifically in our school of education. They are huge advocates of early childhood education, and educator preparation.

[Editor's note: The advisors include The National Association for the Education of Young Children, the College of Education at Boston University, TPI-US, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Texas Education Agency, the Center for Education Data & Research at the University of Washington, Texas Tech University, the Robins Foundation, Teach Plus, the Rainwater Foundation, the Commit Partnership, the Moody Foundation and The Meadows Foundation.]

History is made

As the first community college in Texas to launch a bachelor’s degree program, we spent about three years thinking about curricular innovations and what is the ideal student experience.

The future ahead

We know that we need to be doing a better job of leading students toward bachelor’s degree completion. The first credential that a teacher needs to get them to a living wage job is a bachelor’s degree.

Teacher availability

There’s a need for high-quality educators from cradle to career. If we look at our own region, there’s a shortage of over 4,000 early childhood educators. Who’s helping meet that workforce needs gap?

Hot topic

“There’s this narrative where community college is ‘less than.’ One of the big things we’re hearing from our first group of students is the fact that we are affordable. Our first group of graduates are going to have the opportunity to graduate from Dallas College, debt- free, earning a first-year teacher's salary of almost $60.000 right out of the gate.”

What's the demand like?

We opened up our application for our new bachelor's degree program this past April. Within four months, we received over 4,000 applications [for 500 spots].

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Got a tip? Email Reporter Bill Zeeble at bzeeble@kera.org. You can follow him on Twitter @bzeeble.