by Norm Miller
Louisiana College launched an innovative 3+1 plan that leads to two degrees in four years. The new Advanced Education Degree offers a bachelor’s degree in three years and a master’s in the fourth year.
The Bachelor/Master of Teaching 3+1 pathway combines a rigorous undergraduate curriculum with Louisiana College’s accredited Master of Arts in Teaching graduate program. One of the first of its kind in Louisiana, this approach offers students flexibility with the benefits of both programs and prepares individuals for careers as elementary or secondary school teachers eligible for licensure at the end of the pathway’s fourth year.
“The benefits of this program are far superior to others’ as the average time required to complete two degrees in more traditional programs is 5.5 years,” Craig said.
Additional significant advantages, which also differ from other programs in the state are:
* Students earn full-time teacher pay and have full benefits during student-teaching residency,
* Earn a bachelor’s degree in just three years.
* Earn both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in four years.
* Students are guaranteed a higher rate of effectiveness in the classroom during their first official year of teaching with full support of professors as mentors and a full-time on-site mentor.
* Students may secure a job teaching at their school of choice anywhere in the state for residency, which allows them to teach in their hometowns in their fourth year.
* Unused TOPs money may be applied toward a master’s degree.
* Enjoy the flexibility of a degree plan that allows for dual enrollment and transfer credits.
* Praxis prep courses are built into the degree plan to ensure success on licensure criteria.
“Other than passing state-required content exams before starting the fourth year, there are no additional requirements,” said Dr. Amy Craig, Dean of the School of Education at Louisiana College. “Students can declare an interest in this pathway once admitted to Louisiana College. School of Education advisors will then evaluate dual enrollment and transfer credit and develop a four-year plan for teacher licensure.”
“With the bachelor’s degree providing a sound foundation in teaching methods and pedagogy, and the master’s level residency allowing students to teach full-time in the school of their choice with full pay and full support, the 3+1 pathway combines the best features in traditional and post-baccalaureate programs,” Craig said. “This maximizes benefits for the student and delivers optimal experiences that ensure the making of a highly effective teacher for today’s K-12 classrooms.”
“Louisiana College clearly has the edge over other Education degree programs in the state,” said Louisiana College President Dr. Rick Brewer. “We offer a more expedient and less expensive route to two degrees, teacher certification, and the opportunity to get into the classroom much earlier than usual. This makes our innovative 3+1 pathway preferable to virtually any other degree plan.”