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Watson College Joins NC Educator Pipeline Collaborative

Saturday, December 10, 2022

The Watson College of Education, Cape Fear Community College and New Hanover County Schools are  participating in the North Carolina Educator Pipeline Collaborative. The collaborative was launched in October by the Public School Forum of North Carolina in partnership with the N.C. Office of the Governor and The Belk Foundation to improve recruitment, retention and diversity in NC’s educator workforce.

Eight teacher preparation partnerships comprised of school districts, universities and community colleges from across the state are participating in the inaugural cohort.

“By creating and strengthening connections between school districts, universities and community colleges, the collaborative aims to address the gaps in our state’s educator pipeline and forge long-term partnerships focused on meeting the needs of communities,” said Candace Thompson, Interim Associate Dean of Watson’s Office of Engagement, Professional Learning, and Scholarship. “We are excited to contribute to - and learn from - the work of this group.”

The first convening of the NC Educator Pipeline Collaborative was held October 14 in Elon. Keryn Vickers, Brandon Guthrie and Dave Bittner joined Dr. Thompson for the initial work session. Dr. Vickers is director of the WCE Student Success Center, Guthrie is vice president of academic affairs at Cape Fear Community College, and Bittner is supervisor of talent management at New Hanover County Schools. Somer Lewis, director of Watson’s Professional Development System Office is also a member of the group representing the SE NC partnership.

Through a series of work sessions, members of the Collaborative will share, develop, and implement policies and practices to enhance and extend their efforts to recruit, prepare, support, and retain a diverse, highly effective educator workforce.

The four main goals of the North Carolina Educator Pipeline Collaborative are to (1) Identify and understand the work of successful partnerships and programs; (2) Develop a framework for effective teacher preparation partnerships across K-12, higher education, and workforce development that work to recruit, prepare, support and retain a diverse, high-quality educator pipeline; (3) Support a cohort of teacher preparation partnerships in their development of programs that meet their context and community needs; and (4) Share findings and recommendations with school districts, higher education, and state leaders to promote best practices and advocate for policies and programs that will have a lasting impact on the teacher pipeline.  

Participation in the NC Educator Pipeline Initiative complements several other teacher recruitment initiatives underway at the Watson College, including the Educator of Color Network, launched by WCE’s PDS Office earlier this year to provide opportunities for educators to work together to recruit and retain teachers of color; Walk Towards Your Purpose, a series of networking and professional development events designed to prioritize the importance of teachers of color and to bring together teachers, faculty and students interested in a future teaching career; and It Begins With Teachers, a long standing Watson College campaign that promotes the teaching profession and the college by sharing stories of inspirational teachers.

“One of the most valuable aspects of this work is the ability to work across initiatives and programs, institutions and ideas,” Thompson said. “A multipronged, collaborative approach is critical in effectively and creatively uniting our efforts toward realizing our shared goals: recruiting, retaining, and diversifying the power and population of the teaching profession.”

2022-2023 NC Educator Pipeline Collaborative 

In addition to UNCW, CFCC and NHCS, teacher preparation partnerships participating in the NC Educator Pipeline Collaborative are:

  • Appalachian State University, Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute, and Caldwell County Schools
  • East Carolina University, Pitt Community College, and Pitt County Schools
  • Elon University and Alamance Community College
  • North Carolina A&T State University, Guilford Technical Community College, and Guilford County Schools
  • North Carolina Central University, Durham Technical Community College, and Durham Public Schools
  • University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Kannapolis City Schools
  • University of North Carolina at Pembroke and Old Main STREAM Academy

Recent News Coverage

EdNC, October 14 Public School Forum of North Carolina Announces Inaugural North Carolina Educator Pipeline Collaborative Cohort