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SCC Launches New School of Education

March 12, 2024 by Colton Grace | Homenews | 2024news

An SCC instructor leads a classroom in discussion.
An SCC instructor leads a classroom in discussion.

In a move to address the growing demand for qualified educators in the Upstate, Spartanburg Community College (SCC) proudly announces the creation of its new School of Education. This dedicated academic unit will build upon the success of the College's Early Care & Education (ECE) program and develop new, diverse pathways for individuals to enter the rewarding field of teaching.

According to the 2023-2024 SC Educator Supply and Demand Report by the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention & Advancement (CERRA), teacher vacancies in the state increased by 9% from the 2022-2023 school year to the 2023-2024 school year. Furthermore, it is projected there will be more than 1,700 average annual job openings for elementary school teachers, 730 for middle school teachers, and 1,150 for secondary school teachers across the state through 2026. 

SCC’s ECE program trains students to work in childcare centers, preschools, public schools, Head Start programs, and private kindergartens. The program plays a key role in supporting children and families in Spartanburg, Cherokee, and Union counties by improving the quality of childcare in the communities the College serves. 

In addition to the ECE program, one crucial aspect of this new School will be the development of future programs specifically tailored to help meet the demand for well-trained, certified teachers in the communities the College serves. By expanding pathways into the education field with both established and new, innovative programs, SCC is poised to equip the next generation of passionate educators and address this growing demand head-on, ensuring brighter futures for students and communities across the Upstate.

“Strategic investments in education will yield vast returns,” said Dr. Michael Mikota, president of Spartanburg Community College. “The creation of a School of Education is a strategic investment in our future that empowers individuals to become well-equipped educators who nurture the next generation from cradle to career. This initiative is financially attractive to those who seek an education pathway, and it also ensures sustainable growth and prosperity in our region."

Dr. Benita Yowe, an accomplished educator with extensive experience in curriculum development and program leadership who has served as SCC’s Dean of Health Sciences since 2019, has been appointed as the Dean of the School of Education. Dr. Yowe will be responsible for overseeing the launch and growth of the School, ensuring its programs meet the highest academic standards and prepare students for success in the field of education.

“As an educator for 30 years, I recognize the value of teacher preparation and the importance of equipping, training, and graduating students who are prepared and qualified to teach throughout our service area and beyond,” said Dr. Benita Yowe. “With the tremendous growth and momentum across the Upstate, the need for quality childcare and excellent schools is paramount. SCC is committed to addressing that need, and as dean, I will work diligently to promote SCC's School of Education and propel the College's vision in a way that contributes to the growth and excellence of education in Spartanburg and its neighboring counties.”