Catawba and Rowan-Salisbury Schools Collaborate to Launch New M.Ed. Program

Catawba and Rowan-Salisbury Schools Collaborate to Launch New M.Ed. Program

SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - Catawba College, in a new collaboration with the Rowan-Salisbury School System (RSSS), will offer a Master of Education program to especially target local middle and high school mathematics and science teachers.

The fledgling collaboration has already gained some early momentum with a $300,000 gift from Fred Stanback earmarked to provide full-tuition scholarships for only those local, RSSS math and science teachers who come to Catawba to earn the still-to-be developed degree in some STEM education programs (Science, Technology and Mathematics).

The collaborative program was announced Friday, January 30, by Catawba President Brien Lewis and RSSS Superintendent Dr. Lynn Moody during a joint press conference held at Downtown Catawba.

Lewis said the new M.Ed. program, which is also available to teachers in other districts without the full-tuition scholarship component, would help address a local community need. He speculated it could be "a carrot" that the local system can offer in its efforts to recruit new teachers.

For experienced local math and science teachers, who have been hit hard by North Carolina's elimination of a salary incentive for teachers holding master's degrees, the new program and its scholarship funding will offer an opportunity for teachers to earn an advanced degree without having to bear the financial consequences with no financial incentive.

Dr. Moody lauded the program and expressed deep appreciation to Catawba for partnering with the district to bring this opportunity to the Rowan-Salisbury Schools. As it becomes more and more difficult to recruit and retain qualified math and science teachers, offering a free graduate degree program provides a 'win-win'' for teachers, the district, Catawba and above all the students in the Rowan-Salisbury Schools.

Dr. Moody looks forward to moving ahead in this collaborative effort and filling these urgent needs in hard to recruit areas while building a strong leadership base in the district.

Dr. Jim Stringfield, Catawba's Dean of the Goodman School of Education, cautioned that there are several regulatory hurdles Catawba's new M.Ed. program must overcome before it is official. These include approval of a yet-to-be submitted proposal by the N.C. Board of Education, and approval of a prospectus by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. However, with appropriate approvals and faculty in place, Stringfield anticipates a spring 2016 launch for the new M.Ed. degree.