South Carolina’s future middle school teachers can now choose Lander University to continue their education and launch their careers with Lander’s new Bachelor of Science in Middle Level Education, which was recently granted full approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education and the South Carolina Department of Education.
Dr. Sarah Hunt-Barron, dean of the College of Education at Lander, called middle level education the one “missing piece” to the college’s degree programs. Continuing its rich tradition of preparing teachers to enter the classroom upon graduation, the College of Education’s addition of a middle level education program fills a gap that reflects a growing need in communities across South Carolina.
“We know that middle school is different,” said Hunt-Barron. “Middle school is not elementary school. The students are young adolescents, who have different learning needs, social needs and emotional needs. But they’re not high school students yet, either. They’re still learning in ways that makes it more appropriate to address their needs specifically as middle level educators. And, that’s what our new Bachelor of Science in Middle Level Education will allow our graduates to do.”
Majoring in middle level education prepares teacher candidates to serve students in grades 5-8. Students will choose one of four concentration areas (English, mathematics, science or social studies) and receive an in-depth course of study in their chosen content area, coupled with courses in education and quality field experiences at one of Lander’s partner districts in the GLEAMNS area. Middle level education graduates will play an important role as educators in South Carolina where middle level educators are in high demand, according to Hunt-Barron.
“Middle school has been and continues to be a critical needs area in our state,” said Hunt-Barron. “With the new Bachelor of Science in Middle Level Education, Lander will help address the need.” Based on the number of education students who have expressed interest in being middle school teachers, Hunt-Barron believes the new program will fill quickly.
“We place our future elementary teachers into a middle school environment early on in their college career for observations, and there are students who come out of that experience and want to be middle school teachers,” said Hunt-Barron. “Our new degree program provides the opportunity for them to be able to pursue that directly.”
To learn more about the Lander University College of Education, please visit www.lander.edu/coe.