UNC Asheville's Community Colleges Partnerships

The Lateral Entry Initiative began as a joint effort between UNC Asheville and Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College. The purpose of the initiative is to assist lateral entry teachers gain the knowledge and skills needed to meet the competencies required by the North Carolina State Standards for teachers and to secure a North Carolina teaching certificate. The Lateral Entry Initiative offers four courses throughout the year to assist lateral entry teachers achieve a certification thorough the NC Regional Alternative Licensing Centers. Using this model, lateral entry teachers can complete the five competencies taught at the college level in one calendar year.

 UNC Asheville, Asheville -Buncombe Technical Community College, and Western Region Education Service Alliance (WRESA), and RALC collaborated to develop the courses and forge a partnership that increases access for lateral entry teachers in the western North Carolina counties. Courses originate from UNCA and A-B Technical Community College and over the years have been teleconferenced to McDowell Tech, Blue Ridge Community College, Sandhills Community College and UNC Pembroke. Select courses are taught by university professors as well as community college faculty.

During the 2009-10 academic year, two of the four courses Learning Theory and Educational Psychology were taught completely online, one by a community college faculty member and one by a university professor.  The other two courses, Teaching Reading in the Content Area and Methods and Materials of Teaching were team- taught by a university professor and an adjunct from a local education agency (WRESA). These courses are “hybrids” with 30 hours of videoconferencing and 15 hours of online instruction.

As in 2008-09, there continues to be a demand for the Methods and Materials of Teaching course in the eastern part of the state. Lateral Entry teachers from Region Two contacted UNC Asheville to inquire if arrangements could be made to teleconference the course to a local community college thereby enabling them to meet this competency.  Arrangements were made with Sandhills Community College in Pinehurst, NC to host the course through their teleconferencing facility. They provided space to the initiative at no charge. They also located a technical assistant, whom we paid, to facilitate the transmission of the course during the 30 hours of teleconferencing.  Five teachers were served in Moore County. In addition, one of our education professors spent two days traveling to Moore County to visit and observe the five teachers enrolled in the Methods course.  As an observed in their classrooms, she was able to provide invaluable feedback to the lateral entry teachers as well as to their school principals. This effort was successful due to the partnership we forged with Sandhills Community College.  We also offered the course to one teacher at the Central Academy of Technology in Monroe, NC who also cooperated in teleconferencing the course to their facility.  

Final Notes

Lateral entry teachers are bringing a willingness to take on the challenges of learning about school culture and about ways to present information effectively. They are taking on the challenge of working with young people. We have been amazed and encouraged at the commitment, dedication, and perseverance of these teachers who are immersed with children who make up our 21st century classrooms. This model could jumpstart programs across the state by serving as a model of how RALC, the community college, university and local education agency are working together to meet the needs of lateral entry teachers.