Dean Dempsey Featured on First Episode of Education Matters

On Oct. 2, Watson College Dean Van Dempsey was a panelist on the premiere episode of “Education Matters,” a new show on WRAL-TV. The 30-minute program was created by the Public School Forum of North Carolina to provide the public with the real facts about the state of public education in North Carolina. PSFNC president and executive director Keith Poston hosts the weekly show that will explore everything from the history of public education to the impact of policy decisions.

“Who will teach our children? The NC teacher pipeline” was the topic of the inaugural episode.

In addition to Dean Dempsey, panelists were Mary Ann Danowitz, dean of the College of Education at NC State University; Trey Ferguson, a teacher at Leesville Road High School in Wake County; and Shemika Banuelos, a teacher at Wilson Mills Elementary School in Johnston County.

Watch the entire episode of Education Matters here:

In September, Dempsey met with members of the Watson Student Leader organization to discuss ways to engage students on the topic of NC’s teacher pipeline.

WSL president Dwayne Morgan helped create and distribute a brief survey asking students to share personal views on the decline in teacher enrollments and ideas that might help the state attract more individuals to the teaching profession. Twenty-six Watson Student Leaders and freshmen enrolled in WCE’s Education Learning Community and 21 Watson College students in the internship semester completed the survey.

Morgan and WSL Public Relations Chair Miranda Lancaster also set up a display in the atrium of the Education Building to capture student perspectives.

Responses were converted into word clouds, or “wordles.” The illustrations, which give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently, are included below. The visualizations were shared by Dean Dempsey on the inaugural episode of “Education Matters” and displayed by Poston on the Public School Forum website.

Enrollment in teacher education is down 27% over five years in North Carolina. Why are fewer people choosing to become a teacher?

What drew you to the teaching profession?

Why did you choose UNCW for your teaching degree/licensure?

What can North Carolina do to draw more people to the teaching profession?

For information on the Public School Forum of North Carolina visit