Lewis-Clark State College and the College of Southern Idaho are taking steps to address the shortage of qualified teachers in southern Idaho.
The two colleges signed a memorandum of understanding earlier this month that will allow students at the Twin Falls junior college to complete a bachelor’s degree in elementary education through LCSC, without leaving the Magic Valley.
“We’re excited to partner with CSI on this important initiative to increase the number of qualified teachers in southern Idaho,” said LCSC President Cynthia Pemberton in a news release. “L-C State was founded to produce quality teachers in 1893, and for 128 years we’ve done just that.”
Under the agreement, CSI students will take about 74 credits to earn their associate degree in elementary education. If qualified, they can then earn another 52 credits through online classes at LCSC to earn their bachelor’s degree. They would also complete clinicals and/or internships in southern Idaho.
“It’s no secret that southern Idaho is facing a critical teacher shortage,” CSI President Dean Fisher said. “This partnership with LCSC will significantly expand access for aspiring teachers to get the training they need to enter the field of education at an affordable price and without having to leave the local area. We are excited to partner with LCSC and I can’t thank them enough for their assistance in getting this agreement put in place.”
To qualify for the program, students must complete their associate degree at CSI and carry at least a 3.0 GPA before they can enroll in the LCSC courses. CSI alumni who have already completed their associate degree can be considered for the program as long as they have completed the required program coursework.
The two colleges also created an equivalency course list, so that required classes in the LCSC elementary education program have matching courses offered at CSI.
In addition to the elementary education major, LCSC will offer online courses for endorsement certification in exceptional child generalist and literacy.
As part of the agreement, CSI will also provide LCSC with classroom and office space at its main campus in Twin Falls, as well at its off-campus centers in Hailey, Jerome, Burley and Gooding. LCSC advisers will meet with students in the program regularly, either face-to-face or virtually, and will train mentors to oversee the internships.