Cowley College and Newman University have partnered for the Pathway to Teaching Program to meet the needs of school districts hiring qualified, licensed teachers in Kansas.

The memorandum of agreement took place Thursday during the grand opening of Cowley’s Education Center in Arkansas City.

The Pathway to Teaching program is intended for individuals seeking to enter the teaching profession in Cowley County and surrounding areas who would like to begin the program taught on the Cowley campus in Ark City and the Sumner campus in Wellington.

Newman Dean of the School of Education and Social Work Dr. Cameron Carlson spoke at the event. Carlson extended a huge thanks to Cowley president Dr. Dennis C. Rittle for his visionary leadership and the resourcefulness of Cowley’s vice president of academic affairs Dr. Michelle Schoon.

Carlson also mentioned that Cowley’s director of education Julie Rhoads and Newman assistant dean of outreach and assistant professor Jessica Bird have a common philosophy and a passion for producing a high quality program.

“This pathway and partnership will continue to help two strong education programs become even stronger through an open idea and personnel exchange,” Carlson said. “Through this partnership we have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the students and their families who ultimately are the direct recipients of teacher preparation.”

Students can finish the program in an accelerated manner consisting of one year of classes followed by a semester of student teaching before they are in the classroom making a difference.

“There is a lot of opportunity for Cowley students to turn their two-year degree into a four-year degree without having to leave home, and that’s an awesome opportunity that you don’t see in very many small communities,” Bird said.

The partnership will deliver a quality program to meet the needs of Cowley students and the communities they serve.

“The shortage of qualified secondary teachers continues to be an alarming reality at the state and national levels,” Rittle said. “Too often, access to quality, affordable and streamlined higher education is a barrier, which prevents our next generation of educators from finishing their teacher training. This partnership between Cowley College and Newman University addresses those barriers head-on.”

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