1+3 Educator Pathways Program Offers Another Option for High School Students

March 9, 2020 | by lauren zent

Billings School District is constantly improving the education experience for their high school students. With several dual credit courses at area high schools and technical experience at the Career Center, students now have another option to take classes at MSU Billings that will count towards the 30 credits needed for their first year of college. This gives high school students the potential to start college as a college sophomore, based on credits.

The District has partnered with MSUB to form the 1+3 Educator Pathway Program. This focuses on students who want to major in Education and attend MSU Billings.

“The 1+3 Educator Pathways Program is a tremendous example of collaboration between Montana’s K-12 schools and our post-secondary institutions that will provide new opportunities for students in the Billings community to succeed,” Elsie Arntzen, Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction, recently asserted in an MSUB press release. 

High school seniors can enroll in EDU 105: Education & Democracy, which will be taught on the MSUB campus, by MSUB faculty. High school students that enroll in the course will be in the same classes as college students. According to MSU Billings Chancellor Edelman, one of the hopes of this program is that it will allow students to make “personal connections” with students and faculty, thus encouraging them to return the following year as MSU Billings education majors, “with only three years left to graduate.”

High school students can potentially save thousands of dollars by enrolling in these courses. Under academic advisement, students in the Educator Pathway Program will graduate as qualified teachers in three years, launching them into their careers faster. This is great news for public schools, as there is a large teacher shortage in Montana. Greg Upham, Billings Public School Superintendent said, “For many years, I have felt high school students are more than capable of securing college credits while attending high school. This program gives students…a head start on their post-secondary education and career, along with an enormous cost savings. “ Upham added that this partnership is one of the first steps in shifting the current educational system to begin a modernized approach in K-12 education.”  

This program is slated to start in Spring of 2021. Once the 1+3 Educator Pathway Program is successfully implemented, pathway programs in other careers will be developed. Upham mentioned that a health science pathway will be next.

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