Written by Olivia Gillespie – Foundation Intern, Fall 2020
(CLINTON, N.C.) – The Associate of Arts and Associate of Science in Teacher Preparation is a new program here at Sampson Community College (SCC), which began this Fall. This program is fit for students interested in teaching elementary education. Sandra Jackson is one of the first students to participate in this program at SCC. Jackson is a stay-at-home mother and a former student of SCC. Jackson received an Associate degree in Animal Science from SCC and has decided to go back to school to pursue a career in elementary education. Her passion for teaching young children led her to start in the Teacher Preparation Pathway.
When asked about her time at SCC, Jackson replied, “Sampson Community College is a great school. The staff, teachers, and everyone is wonderful. Sampson has always been good to me and they have always been easy to work with.”
Jackson has been a stay-at-home mother to two small boys for five years. The Teacher Preparation Pathway allows Jackson to complete her classes for her degree online, which is very convenient for her schedule. When Jackson was in high school, she participated in an internship with a kindergarten class, which sparked her initial interest in elementary education. Jackson also comes from a family that works in education. Each of these factors fueled her desire to pursue a career as an educator.
The Associate of Arts and Associate of Science in Teacher Preparation is a new pathway that has joined SCC for the first time this semester. This program is best suited for those that have a strong interest in teaching, particularly in teaching elementary education. The long-term goal of this program is for a student to start taking classes as a Career and College Promise student in high school then continue to receive a two-year degree, with the hopes of transferring to a university.
North Carolina is currently working on a statewide agreement between community colleges and universities for a seamless transition from this program. This program also allows students to have education classes that are directly connected with classroom experience.
Dr. Susan Baxter, Division Chair of Education, Business, and Human Services Technology shared,” I am glad we are able to offer these great new programs at Sampson Community College. They represent the cornerstones for a local ‘grow your own’ teacher initiatives that can contribute to producing a more robust pool of educators in our county, region, or state. Students can begin early, while in high school, with hands-on training in the education field. We hope these programs will provide a local, inexpensive route to prepare future teachers for our service area. We look forward to future collaborations with local schools and nearby universities to provide a seamless, convenient, and affordable teacher preparation experience.”
With her schedule as a mother, Sandra Jackson must work extra hard when it comes to completing her degree. Her dedication to becoming a teacher is shown greatly through her academics. The work that she puts into her online classes is evident in her schoolwork.
Jackson’s Biology Instructor here at SCC, Leslie Darden, shared, “I can tell that Sandra is a very determined and hardworking student. She is a full-time mom and is very busy but manages to stay on top of her college class because she strives to succeed for her kids. “
After graduating from Sampson Community College, Sandra Jackson hopes to transfer to the University of North Carolina at Pembroke to complete her degree in Elementary Education. Jackson was able to begin her path of becoming an elementary school teacher here at Sampson Community College with the Teacher Preparation Pathway. Jackson has a very bright future ahead of her as both a teacher and person.
About Sampson Community College: Sampson Community College is a member of the North Carolina Community College System, located in Clinton, NC in Sampson County. The college offers many programs to include two-year degrees, college transfer, continuing education and workforce development options and early college education.