New agreement helps high school students earn credit toward CMU teaching degree

High school students looking to get a start on a teaching degree from Central Michigan University will now have a little more help.

A new agreement between CMU and the Michigan Department of Education's Office of Career and Technical Education was ratified last week. The agreement allows high school students to obtain three credits toward a teaching degree at CMU.

To earn the credit, students must complete their district's MDE-CTE course, replacing the university's required Introduction to Teaching course.

Renee Papelian, CMU's director of professional education, said the agreement applies to school districts statewide.

“We are the only university at this time in educator-prep institutions that has a blanket agreement with the Career and Technical Education,” Papelian said. “There are some universities that have single agreements with specific districts, but we're the only university that has this blanket agreement which will create a larger pool of students who will be able to come to CMU.”

Larry Corbett, teacher education and professional development department chairperson, said the agreement offers students direction and will help create better teachers.

“When they get here, they'll be more focused,” he said. "If you're a higher-quality teacher, the chances of you getting a job increases exponentially."

Diane Benford, CTE director at the Mount Pleasant Area Technical Center, said the program gives students who complete the MDE-CTE an advantage over those who do not.

“They've already tested the waters in high school,” Benford said. “These kids won't be doing that. They'll already know they want to be teachers because they've had this program in high school.”

The technical center serves students from Gratiot and Isabella counties. Benford said the agreement could benefit up to as many as 20 students.

“I'm excited because I believe it's going to bring quality students looking to get into teaching to go to CMU,” she said.


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