Students in elementary education 2+2 program prepare for internships this fall

A photo of Christin Hall helping a student with her work on a computer

The inaugural class of students in the elementary education 2+2 program will enter the internship portion of the program this fall. The 2+2 program is a partnership between the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville that allows local students to obtain a bachelor’s degree from UALR without having to leave Independence County. Students attend UALR classes that are offered in both streamed real time classes and online asynchronous classes.

Dr. Ann Webb, field supervisor for the program, said students have already been assigned to the teachers they will be interning with this fall. The internships will give students an in-depth look into being a teacher. They will be required to attend summer professional development sessions with their assigned teachers as well as help set up classrooms before the school year begins.

“They’re going to do it all,” Webb said. “They will be in the classroom every day next year. I feel they will be more than prepared to take over their own classrooms as teachers after this experience.”

Cherie Buie, a student in the program, said she felt the training she is receiving in the program will increase her chances of securing employment after graduation.

“I believe that I will be very prepared for teaching because UALR has had me in the schools from the start of the program. When we graduate, we should have no problem getting a job because we have been trained in leading the classroom,” Buie said.

Webb said students will conduct their internships with teachers in the Cedar Ridge, Batesville, Southside and Concord School districts.

“The school districts have opened their arms to us,” Webb said. “It’s been a lot of trial and error because this is our first year, but it’s been a very good experience so far.”

As field supervisor, Webb helps coordinate connections between the students and the schools. Students have already been working in the field with teachers in the districts where they will be interning. They develop lessons to teach as well as observe their assigned teachers. Webb said the students are required to keep journals in which they reflect on experiences in the classroom and how they will apply those experiences as future teachers. Webb conducts reviews monthly with the students and their assigned teachers. At the end of the semester, she conducts an evaluation which she reviews with both the student and the teacher.

Christin Hall, a student in the program, said the 2+2 program has put her dream of being a teacher within reach.

“As a married, working mother of two boys, I was not able to leave town to attend another institution. With the foundation I received by obtaining my associate’s degree from UACCB, I was able to feel confident enough to start the program at UALR and work toward my bachelor’s degree in elementary education. I have been able to continue working and still have a home life because of the flexible hours offered from UALR. I will receive the same degree as if I were on their campus in Little Rock without ever having to leave Batesville. This is an awesome opportunity for anyone looking to pursue a degree in education,” Hall said.

In addition to the elementary education program, UACCB and UALR have partnered to start a middle school education program that will begin this upcoming school year. For more information about the elementary education program or the middle school education program, call 870-612-2139.