Testing the waters | CraigDailyPress.com

Testing the waters

CNCC, Mesa State gauge local interest in teacher licensure program during forums

Bridget Manley

How to get involved

For more information about the proposed elementary teacher licensure program through Mesa State College, contact Dr. Ben Keefer at 248-1384 or keefer@mesastate....

— A Mesa State College representative fielded questions from the public during two forums hosted by the Colorado Northwestern Community College on Tuesday.

The forums were to help gauge public interest in a program that would allow CNCC students to earn elementary education licensure through Mesa State.

Dr. Ben Keefer provided information about Mesa State, including admission requirements and a suggested course sequence for a liberal arts degree in English leading to elementary teacher licensure.

He also offered to review the coursework of students who attended the seminar to determine if credits could transfer to Mesa State’s proposed program.

If the program is approved, it will allow students to earn an associate’s degree from CNCC and then obtain a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts with a certification in elementary education, Keefer said.

The program would bring Mesa State courses to the CNCC campus, either through on-site instructors or distance learning programs. Courses in the bachelor’s degree program would be offered by Mesa State and cost $140 per credit hour.

At the earliest, the program would be implemented during the 2008 fall semester.

Before approving the program at CNCC, Mesa State officials plan to ascertain if interest in the program truly exists and, if so, if there would be enough students to form a “cohort” – in other words, a group of students who would begin and end the program together, Keefer said.

“The best way to generate the program is to generate a cohort of students,” Dr. Keefer said.

A survey conducted by Mesa State during the summer led to Tuesday’s forums. In the survey, the college asked Moffat County residents what kind of degrees they would be interested in obtaining if programs were offered locally.

Response to the survey was “fairly small,” yet it showed Moffat County residents were interested in bachelor degree programs for education and business, Keefer said.

One of the next steps in deciding if the bachelor’s degree program will come to Craig includes contacting individuals who responded to the summer survey. The Moffat County School District also is communicating with its paraprofessionals to determine if they would be interested in the licensure program.

“If people are interested, now’s the time to make contact,” Keefer said.

Bridget Manley can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 207, or bmanley@craigdailypress.com