LCSC PACE program receives check from Qwest Foundation
Lewis-Clark State College has received a check for $21,985 from the Qwest Foundation for its Pathways for Accelerated Certification and Endorsement program, which uses alternative ways to help qualified individuals earn certification to teach grades K-12 in Idaho.
Jim Schmit, President of Qwest Idaho, presented LCSC President Dene K. Thomas, Education Division Chair Jan Hill and PACE Secondary Coordinator Wayne Carroll with the check in Thomas’ office on Wednesday afternoon.
“We sincerely thank Jim Schmit and the Qwest Foundation for their support of the PACE program here at Lewis-Clark State College,” Thomas said. “They have given us a wonderful and useful gift; we are very happy to have Qwest as a partner for producing quality teachers in Idaho.”
The Qwest Foundation is dedicated to enriching the lives and customers in the communities it serves. The Foundation awards grants to community-based education programs that generate high impact and measurable results.
In 2007, LCSC’s Pace program received the University Continuing Education Association’s Distance Learning Program of Excellence national award, defeating other finalists from such places at the University of Texas.
The PACE program was created to help individuals earn a teaching degree through LCSC, but are unable to regularly attend classes on campus because of time constraints, location, or employment. The program is in its fourth year and serves students in the United States and foreign countries, including Russia, Bermuda, Japan, China, Italy, and Kuwait.
“Qwest is very pleased to support this nationally-recognized program at Lewis-Clark State College,” Schmit said. “Training the next generation of Idaho teachers is a critical mission and LCSC is in the forefront of those efforts.”
The Pace program allows students to take online classes during the school year and also come to LCSC during the summer for an eight-week training session. The program has helped teaching and classroom assistants in rural areas earn their teaching degrees, both at the elementary and at the secondary levels.
The Elementary Program is for individuals who possess an Associate’s Degree or an equivalent degree plus have finished certain core courses. The program includes two summer sessions with field experience with cohorts organized in Lewiston and Coeur d’Alene, an intermediate year of online classes, and a semester of student teaching near where the individual resides. Web cameras also are used to help with advising and internship supervision. These students also are observed teaching in the classroom through video conferencing as part of their training so instructors can see how they handle situations in a live classroom.
The program helps para-professionals and teacher aides earn their Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and teacher certification in Idaho.
The PACE Secondary Program requires individuals to posses a B.S. /B.A. degree to be eligible. Individuals attended a three-day on-campus summer orientation and workshop and then instruction is provided online. The program allows individuals to achieve their certification faster than taking regular Education classes based on documented life experiences (work) and demonstrated knowledge and skills.
The program started in 2003 when LCSC was awarded a Mentoring Emphasis for Rural Intern Teachers (MERIT) grant. Each student chosen for the program receives $1,000 to help with book and tuition costs.
The program has been successful in helping meet the demand for teachers and has continued LCSC’s reputation for producing outstanding teachers. The program also has been effective for LCSC creating close relationships with many schools districts, which benefit from the services of certified PACE graduates.
“PACE is recognized externally for the excellence we all know it demonstrates every day,” Thomas said. “What a wonderful example of collaboration.”
There are currently 153 active PACE students (75 elementary and 78 secondary), and the program has graduated and certified 126 teachers since its inception.
For more information on the Qwest Foundation, visit http://www.qwest.com/about/company/community/foundation.html
For more information on LCSC’s PACE program, contact Hill or Carroll in the Education Division at 792-2260, or visit http://www.lcsc.edu/education/pace/index.shtml