ECC, SBU Sign Agreement for Future Educators

ECC, SBU Sign Agreement for Future Educators

November 8, 2021 |

East Central College and Southwest Baptist University signed an agreement last week to streamline the transfer into the university’s education program.

The articulation agreement provides ECC graduates who earn an Associate of Arts in Teaching a smooth transition into SBU’s bachelor of science in elementary education program, which aligns with ECC’s strategic plan, said Dr. Robyn Walter, vice president for academic affairs at ECC.

“One of our strategies in our five-year strategic plan was to grow partnerships with our four-year university partners, provide opportunities for the students and the community,” she said. “This articulation agreement is really impactful for teacher education. We’ve been hearing a lot about the shortage of teachers.”

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) reported a 5.06 percent shortage in full-time equivalent instructors for the 2020-21 academic year. The most-severe shortages include elementary, early childhood, early childhood special and general science education.

“We are pleased to have collaboratively created a path for East Central College teacher candidates to attain their goal of elementary education certification at SBU,” said Dr. Dwight Haun, coordinator of teacher education and professor of education at SBU.

“The need for teachers across the state of Missouri, especially rural areas, is great. Preparing teacher candidates for the mission field of teaching is our calling and mission.”

According to Christina Ayers, director of ECC Rolla, teachers who are trained and educated in a community, oftentimes stay within that community.

“Our mission at East Central is enriching our communities through education, and I don’t think it gets any better than teaching the teachers and creating a pathway to completing a bachelor’s degree locally — to be able to serve our rural community and really address this teacher shortage issue is powerful,” she said.

“As someone who grew up just a few miles south of here, this opportunity today really excites me for our students in Rolla, and students in the surrounding communities who can start at ECC and use A+ money.

“To have a realistic plan through those pathways to start here and finish with SBU is really a game-changer it’s an exciting and an impactful difference for our rural students,” Ayers added.

To learn more about ECC’s teaching program, visit