The state of education was the topic of discussion when Noe Ortega, Pennsylvania Department of Education deputy secretary for postsecondary and higher education, visited Wilkes University to meet with administrators, faculty and staff on Monday, May 13.
Discussions centered on the University’s role in producing highly effective education professionals, future workforce gaps and needs, and increasing the number of students entering the teaching profession. Ryan Riley, executive director of the Pennsylvania Early Learning Investment Commission, attended to address the shortage of early childhood educators. Wilkes offers a variety of programs to address these issues:
- Wilkes has established articulation agreements with community and two-year colleges to help their graduates transfer to Wilkes to complete their bachelor’s degree in elementary and early childhood education. The program leads to pre-kindergarten through fourth grade certification and includes an 18-credit minor in reading education.
- Early childcare professionals with some college credits can earn their degree online while continuing to work. In partnership with the Pennsylvania Child Care Association, the T.E.A.C.H Early Childhood Pennsylvania Scholarship offers financial assistance and support services that improve the education and compensation of child care workers. Early childcare professionals, teachers and assistant teachers working in Keystone STARS facilities are eligible to apply to the scholarship program and advance their education for little or no cost.
Wilkes also offers nearly two-dozen master’s degrees, certificate programs and letters of endorsement in fields like literacy, teaching English as a second language and STEM. The doctor of education in educational leadership is available in a low-residency format.
“Innovative programs in highly relevant subject areas makes the Wilkes School of Education distinct. We are proud to offer bachelor’s through doctoral programs that advance educators and support national and statewide needs,” said Rhonda Rabbitt, Wilkes dean of the school of education.