AN ACT TO MODIFY THE NORTH CAROLINA TEACHING FELLOWS PROGRAM TO ALLOW STUDENTS TO PURSUE ANY AREA OF TEACHING LICENSURE TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR THE PROGRAM, EXPAND THE PARTICIPATING INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION TO INCLUDE COMMUNITY COLLEGES AND ALL CONSTITUENT INSTITUTIONS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA WITH EDUCATOR PREPARATION PROGRAMS, AND TO REQUIRE THAT A STUDENT RECEIVING FORGIVABLE LOANS FOR MORE THAN FOUR SEMESTERS USE THOSE FORGIVABLE LOANS AT A COMMUNITY COLLEGE TO EARN CREDIT TRANSFERABLE TO THE EDUCATOR PREPARATION PROGRAM.
Makes the following changes to the NC Teaching Fellows Program (Program), Part 3, Article 23, GS Chapter 116.
Amends GS 116-209.62, expanding the purpose of the Program to now be to recruit, prepare, and support students residing in or attending higher education institutions in the State for preparation as highly effective teachers in the State's public schools, rather than specifically targeting STEM or special education teachers. Makes conforming changes throughout Part 3 to remove references limiting the provisions' application to STEM or special education teachers.
Adds to the measures the Teaching Fellows Commission must include in adopting standards for awarding forgivable loans under the Program to now include commitment to attend a community college to earn credits to transfer to an educator preparation program (EPP) for completion of a program leading to initial teacher licensure.
Expands the Program to include all community colleges and constituent institutions of the UNC-System with approved EPPs (previously limited to five postsecondary constituent institutions of the UNCSystem). Permits the Commission to also select private postsecondary institutions operating in the state which meet the previously specified standards for selection of the most effective EPPs (previously, selection of private institutions were included in the total cap of five; standards were previously set forth for the Commission to adopt to use in its selection process). Makes conforming changes to the provisions regarding awards of forgivable loans. Adds a new limitation for high school seniors and transfer students, restricting awards of forgivable loans to the first four semesters for high school seniors, and the first two semesters for transfer students, to attend community college to earn credits that will transfer to an EPP at an institution of higher learning for completion of the program leading to initial licensure for the remaining four semesters.
Adds the State Board of Community Colleges to the institutions required to coordinate with the Commission to complete the annual reporting requirements. Modifies the information required to be in the report concerning forgivable loans awarded, to include in the breakdown of the number of recipients by institution how many recipients used forgivable loans to attend a community college to earn credit to be transferred to an EPP.
Makes further technical changes.
Effective July 1, 2019, and applies to the award of forgivable loans to a new cohort beginning with the 2020-21 academic year.