Butler County Community College’s new agreement with La Roche University will allow BC3 graduates with an associate degree in early childhood education to transfer credits toward any one of La Roche’s three bachelor’s degree programs in education and to be eligible for annual merit scholarships of up to $15,000 from La Roche.
BC3 and the university in McCandless Township signed the agreement Oct. 21.
Graduates of BC3’s early childhood education (pre-kindergarten to grade four) program can apply credits from courses in which they earned a C grade or higher toward La Roche programs in Pre-K-4 education, Pre-K-4 education with Pre-K-12 special education, or Pre-K-12 special education.
BC3 graduates who enroll full time at La Roche are also eligible for merit scholarships by maintaining an overall grade-point average of 2.5 or higher. Students must have a 3.0 grade-point average to be accepted into and remain within La Roche education programs.
The early childhood education program is available at BC3’s main campus in Butler Township, BC3 @ Brockway in Brockway, BC3 @ Cranberry in Cranberry Township, BC3 @ Lawrence Crossing in New Castle and at BC3 @ LindenPointe in Hermitage. More than 80 students are enrolled in the ongoing fall semester. The program required 60 to 61 credits to graduate.
La Roche’s Pre-K-4 education and Pre-K-12 special education programs require 120 credits to graduate; and its Pre-K-4 education with Pre-K-12 special education require 126 credits.
The median pay for kindergarten and elementary school teachers in 2019 was $59,420, and more than 56,000 job openings nationally are expected by 2029, BC3 said, citing U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.