TWIN FALLS — The College of Southern Idaho and Lewis-Clark State college have recently signed a joint agreement that helps students pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education to stay in the Magic Valley.
“Whenever we do things individually, we can achieve," said Tracey Meyerhoeffer, the Department Chair for the Education Department at CSI. "But when we do things as a team we can achieve so much more.”
Southern Idaho is currently in the midst of a teacher shortage. The agreement is hoping to help more students achieve their dream of becoming a teacher and potentially inspire more kids who want to teach.
“We have about 75% of our students who transfer in the education department to a university. But then only about 60% of those actually complete a bachelor's degree. So our retention, we would like to see that increase," said Meyerhoeffer.
Typically students that receive their Associate's Degree from CSI end up having to transfer to another institution. It can be very a tedious process with applications and eventually having to adapt to a new environment. This agreement hopes to make this transition as smooth as possible.
“They will get their AA degree through CSI, but then CSI and LCSC will continue to work together to teach the courses that they need. To advise them, to do all of the things that they need to have done for their bachelor's degree for the remaining two years.”
Students will also be able to work with the same teachers and advisors they previously had.
Another big portion of this agreement is that majority of the LCSD courses will be conducted virtually. This will allow students to get more hands-on experience in a legitimate classroom.
“This program will focus on classroom experience, so they will have a lot of time to be in the classroom working alongside certificated teachers.”