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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) —  Starting next fall, students in New Hanover County will get the chance to work toward becoming teachers while still in high school.

New Hanover County Schools and UNCW announced today the creation of the Future Teachers Career Academy at Isaac Bear Early College High School.

It’s a partnership between UNCW’s Watson College of Education and New Hanover County Schools.

Recruitment for the inaugural group will begin this month. Several events are planned for November and December to introduce the program to eighth-grade students, parents, teachers, and counselors in New Hanover County. Applications will be accepted in January and February. To apply for the FTCA, click here.

“The Watson College is excited to collaborate with the New Hanover County Schools and Isaac Bear on this important work, which gives us all an opportunity to help young people explore the education profession as an exciting direction in their lives. We hope to inspire them to see a future where they can make a difference in the lives of so many people. FTCA is a way for young people to open that door and explore the possibilities that being a teacher can offer,” said Watson College Dean Van Dempsey.

New Hanover County Schools Superintendent Dr. Tim Markley added, “NHCS has been creating innovative solutions to address the teacher shortage. The Future Teachers Career Academy provides another pipeline to meet district needs.”

IBECHS features a rigorous academic curriculum with only honors-level courses in the four core subjects: math, history, science, and English. During their junior and senior years, students have the opportunity to take college courses at UNCW for college credit.

Enrolling in the FTCA at IBECHS will enable students to potentially:

  • Work toward a career goal of becoming a teacher from their first year in high school

  • Be part of a community of future teacher and UNCW student leaders

  • Receive early advisor support in preparing a path for a career in education

  • Attend college classes in the Watson College and receive priority consideration for admission

  • Visit innovative schools around the region, state, and nation

  • Work in New Hanover County Schools.

IBECHS Principal MaryPaul Beall said, “We’re excited about FTCA and it is a welcome addition. This program will provide new opportunities for IBECHS students.”

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