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UNCP, Sandhills Community College, Moore County Schools Collaborate to Launch New Teacher Pipeline Program 

This article was originally published on the University of North Carolina at Pembroke’s website and is reprinted with permission. 

Moore County Schools Superintendent Tim Locklair, left, Sandhills Community College President Sandy Stewart and UNCP Chancellor Robin Gary Cummings

The University of North Carolina at Pembroke is partnering with Sandhills Community College (SCC) and Moore County Schools (MCS) to combat the teacher shortage while supporting local students pursuing careers in the classroom.  

Representatives from the three institutions introduced the Grow Moore Teachers Pathway Scholarship during a ceremony at SCC on Wednesday. The scholarship is available to students graduating from the Moore County school system. 

“This collaboration with SCC and MCS marks a significant step in creating a seamless pathway for aspiring teachers in one of our university’s service region counties,” said Chancellor Robin Gary Cummings. 

“This partnership ensures Moore County students can pursue their dreams of becoming educators and return to make a positive impact in their home communities. With the affordable NC Promise tuition rate at UNCP and the SCC Foundation’s scholarship program, they can achieve their goals without the burden of student debt.  

“At UNCP, we are committed to providing every opportunity for our students to succeed, and strong partnerships like this make it possible,” Cummings said. 

Cummings attended the ceremony with SCC President Sandy Stewart and Moore County Superintendent Tim Locklair. 

“We will always need teachers,” Stewart said. “This partnership with Moore County Schools, UNC Pembroke, and Sandhills Community College is a unique pathway to help scholars teach in their community.” 

Students receiving this scholarship will graduate from Sandhills Community College, transfer to UNCP to complete an educator preparation program (EPP) major, and eventually return to the Moore County School System as teachers. The program is modeled after the North Carolina Teaching Fellows Scholarship program.  

The new pathway program complements several long-standing articulation agreements that SCC has with UNCP programs, including nursing, exercise science, criminal justice, and business. UNCP launched the BraveStep program in 2020 for SCC students to begin their college career at Sandhills and continue their education at UNCP. 

“It’s exciting to continue to grow the existing partnership,” said Tracy Mulvaney, dean of the School of Education. “We look forward to seeing the teaching candidates who come through the pipeline and producing more teachers for Moore County. We can address the teacher shortage between the three institutions because everyone has their strengths, and we know the community’s needs.” 

Locklair said he is grateful to partner with SCC and UNCP, adding that Moore County students already benefit from ongoing partnerships, “So this is one more unique way we can partner and do some great things for the county. 

 “I am fired up for this partnership that we can encourage our kids and give them a pathway to get a teaching degree and come back to inspire others to do the same,” Locklair said.