LEWISTON, Idaho – Lewis-Clark State College and the College of Southern Idaho have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will allow students at the two-year junior college in Twin Falls to complete a bachelor’s degree in elementary education through LC State without leaving the Magic Valley.
LC State President Cynthia Pemberton and CSI President Dean Fisher signed the agreement earlier this month. The MOU was established to help southern Idaho school districts address a shortage of qualified teachers.
“We are excited to partner with CSI on this important initiative to increase the number of qualified teachers in southern Idaho,” Pemberton said. “LC State was founded to produce quality teachers in 1893, and for 128 years we’ve done just that.”
CSI students will take approximately 74 credits to earn their Associate of Arts degree in Elementary Education. If qualified, they can go on and earn the final 52 credits for a bachelor’s degree online through LC State and with clinicals and/or internships in southern Idaho.
“It’s no secret that southern Idaho is facing a critical teacher shortage,” Fisher said. “This partnership with LCSC will significantly expand access for aspiring teachers to get the training they need to enter the field of education at an affordable price and without having to leave the local area. We are excited to partner with LCSC and I can’t thank them enough for their assistance in getting this agreement put in place.”
Under the agreement the two colleges agree to a curriculum coordination effort that allows CSI students the ability to complete their associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in elementary education through courses offered online and/or onsite. Students must complete their associate’s degree at CSI and carry at least a 3.0 GPA before they can enroll in the LC State courses. CSI alumni who have already completed their associate’s degree in elementary education can be considered for the program as long as they have completed the required program coursework.
The two colleges created an equivalency course list so that required classes in the LC State elementary education program have matching courses offered at CSI.
In addition to the elementary education major, LC State will offer online courses for endorsement certification in exceptional child generalist and literacy.
As part of the MOU, CSI will provide LC State with classroom and office space at CSI’s main campus as well at its off-campus centers located in Hailey, Jerome, Burley and Gooding. LC State advisors will meet with students in the program regularly, either face-to-face or virtually, and will train mentors to oversee the internships.