Kilgore College and East Texas Baptist University are teaming up to let KC students pursue a bachelor’s degree in education on the Kilgore campus.
Officials with the schools said they hope to address a widespread shortage of teachers in the region.
ETBU is hosting university-level courses on KC’s campus in Kilgore, allowing KC students to take ETBU courses leading toward a bachelor’s degree in education (early childhood through sixth grade).
KC President Brenda Kays and ETBU President Blair Blackburn solidified the plan that provides ETBU an office in Kilgore for recruiting, student services and advising for KC students and graduates.
The classes — which began Aug. 19 with nine students — are taught by ETBU faculty who travel to the Kilgore campus.
Classes are held in the Watson Library but will be moved to the new Baptist Student Center on the Kilgore campus upon its completion.
Semesters are typically 15 weeks long. Once students have completed the associate degree (four semesters), they will complete their Bachelor of Science in Education plus early childhood through sixth-grade certification while never having to leave the Kilgore campus.
“Kilgore College has much to gain by working with the universities in our region for the benefit of our students,” Kays said. “This partnership with ETBU provides our students with additional options as they continue their educational journey to become an educator. We look forward to working with ETBU to further student success and provide East Texas with highly qualified teachers.
“This partnership enables us to bring a physical four-year university presence to Kilgore,” Kays said. “We are always looking for ways to expand educational opportunities for our students, and this will be a win-win for students at both KC and ETBU.”
ETBU’s Teacher Education Program has more than a 95 percent pass rate on Texas educator certification exams for the past five years.