State leaders launch teacher preparation program for STEM, special education

RALEIGH, North Carolina (WTVD) -- State education leaders are working to attract more STEM and special education teachers to North Carolina.

The North Carolina Teaching Fellows Program is similar to the program that was in place when former Gov. Pat McCrory was elected. However, this new program focuses on the STEM field and special education.

Thursday afternoon, Senator Chad Barefoot (R-Wake) and Representative Craig Horn(R-Union) placed emphasis on recruiting students to take advantage of the program, which would provide up to $8,250 in forgivable loans.

High school graduates, current college students, and even those who already have a bachelor's degree but want to become a teacher can take advantage of this program.

Click here to read more about the program

School officials and legislators also said students who go on to complete the program can have their loans faster if they teach at a low-performing school.

There will also be a commission formed that will monitor the effectiveness of the program. Sen. Barefoot plans to introduce the legislation when sessions resume next week.

UNC President Margaret Spellings, State Superintendent Mark Johnson, NCICU President Dr. Hope Williams, NCSU Chancellor Dr. Randy Woodson, and leadership from the NCSU College of Education at the Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center joined Barefoot and Horn to make the announcement.

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