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UMPI, Bethany Bible College sign international educational agreement

Officials with the University of Maine at Presque Isle and Bethany Bible College met in Sussex on Tuesday, June 7, to sign a cooperative educational agreement. The joint international venture provides students of BBC with a post-degree education option at UMPI, allowing students to attain academic requirements for teacher certification in Maine and New Brunswick.

“We are very pleased to be partnering with Bethany Bible College and providing its graduates with this opportunity to earn their teaching certification,” Dr. Michael Sonntag, UMPI’s Vice President for Academic Affairs, said. “BBC graduates will be able to transition seamlessly into our Education degree programs, receive hands-on experience in the education field, and ultimately be able to earn their certification in a fairly condensed time period.”

Through this partnership, students earning the B.A. in Christian School Education at BBC may receive conditional early admission to the B.S. in Teacher Education program at UMPI. After successfully graduating from BBC, students meeting UMPI’s requirements will be able to complete the second Bachelor degree in two semesters plus a student teaching experience. Upon passing Maine’s Praxis series exams, graduates will receive teacher certification from the state. This certification is recognized by more than forty states and enables students to receive an Interim Certificate V from New Brunswick. Once an individual has completed two years of teaching within the NB public school system, a permanent certificate is issued upon request.

“This is a significant benefit for our students,” affirms Dr. David Smith, Vice President for Academic Affairs at BBC. “Essentially, it means that they have the potential of earning two Bachelor degrees plus teacher certification in about 5 ½ years.”

Sussex Christian School teacher and Bethany Bible College graduate, Mrs. Courtney Glidden, enrolled in UMPI’s Education degree program and graduated May 2010. “The B.A. in Christian School Education degree that I received from BBC prepared me to step into UMPI’s Teacher Education program with ease, and the coursework at UMPI enhanced my teaching preparation,” Glidden said. “It was a great experience.”

The agreement reflects the desire of the two institutions to foster international co-operation in a variety of educational pursuits including providing a platform for visiting lecturers, joint research projects, and cultural programs.

“We look forward to the many ways that we will be able to partner with Bethany Bible College going forward,” UMPI President Don Zillman said. “Our University was established as a teacher’s college in 1903 and we are proud to be a part of this international agreement that connects so strongly with the earliest work we did as an institution.”