2+2 Program bringing education to students when and where they need it

An increasing number of future teachers will now find the opportunity to earn a quality education through Tennessee Tech University’s College of Education, but they’ll find it a lot closer to home.

The recently launched 2+2 Elementary Education Program at three sites — Roane State Community College’s Crossville and Oak Ridge sites, plus Pellissippi State Technical Community College — attracted about 75 teaching candidates this semester. The program, which offers on-site delivery of the third and fourth years of the College of Education’s teacher licensure program, is designed to mirror the quality of on-campus classes while increasing accessibility.

“Bringing community colleges and four-year universities together is a national trend,” said TTU College of Education Dean Darrell Garber. “Many states have adopted statutes requiring this type of cooperation and authorizing community colleges to award four-year degrees. We are the only Tennessee university responding to this need in our state.”

TTU’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction has paid particular attention to the 2+2 program’s structure in order to maintain the quality of the program away from campus. Three new tenure track faculty members, one for each site, were hired to teach full-time. Those new faculty members will be mentored by colleagues who teach the same courses on TTU’s campus and will attend regular faculty meetings. Full-time and part-time adjunct instructors will also augment the program.

“We plan to ensure the candidates at these sites receive the same high quality instruction and have the same resources available as our students on campus,” said Larry Peach, TTU’s Curriculum and Instruction chairperson.

Having library services and support available at these locations for students also helps keep every candidate on a level playing field, says Peach.

“With a library liaison on campus, we use online texts, interlibrary exchange and technology to make sure 2+2 students have the same resources available to them,” said Peach.

TTU’s Provost Marvin Barker says this program is another step toward responding to the needs of students who are location- or time-bound and need viable alternatives available to them.

“As we move into the future, we will be offering more instruction on off-campus sites,” said Barker. “Whether we do this with people or technology or a combination of both, we will deliver education when and where they need it.”

While the Department of Curriculum and Instruction oversees the academic efforts, the School of Interdisciplinary Studies and Extended Education manages the logistics of the effort.

“Many people at each campus have worked very diligently to develop the program and get it started,” said Dean Susan Elkins. “It’s great to see it become a reality.”

Open House receptions will be held to celebrate the program’s first semester at the new locations. Roane State will host an Open House at the Cumberland County Higher Education Center from 4 to 5 p.m. CDT, Monday, Sept. 29, and at the Oak Ridge Branch Campus’ Manning Art Gallery from 4 to 5 p.m. EDT, Thursday, Oct. 2. Pellissippi State will host an Open House at the Hardin Valley Campus’ Lamar Alexander Building, Room 126, from 3 to 5 p.m. EDT, Thursday, Oct. 9.

For more information about the 2+2 program, call 931-372-3394.