RALEIGH, N.C. (7/31/13)--Members of North Carolina's State Employees' CU have awarded a $2.28 million grant through the SECU Foundation to support Partnership East, East Carolina University (ECU) Foundation's rural teacher education scholarship program.
The Raleigh, N.C.-based credit union said Partnership East has been renamed SECU Partnership East. The program is a joint project with ECU, North Carolina community colleges and public school systems focused on recruiting teacher assistants and public school employees in the rural northeastern part of the state to become certified teachers.
Students selected by ECU's College of Education will have access to high-quality degree programs close to home so they might remain in their communities to teach after they graduate, said the nearly $26 billion asset SECU. Students finish the four-year program by competing the first two years at a participating community college, then transferring to ECU, so they can take classes online.
Scholarship funding assists students in their senior year, when internship requirements keep them from working their regular jobs.
SECU Foundation's board approved the grant with an annual commitment of $456,000 for five years, beginning next month. Its funding will work to help stabilize the impact of dwindling state and federal support that has negatively affected student enrollment in the program, said SECU.
North Carolina will need 14,000 new teachers in 2015. More than 500 students have already graduated from the program, with 79% of the graduates now teaching in the state and 94% of those teaching in eastern North Carolina. ECU said more than 225 students are currently enrolled through the scholarship program.