Claflin University education program receives accreditation

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Officials say the school is focused on recruiting more teachers, especially black men.

ORANGEBURG, SC – Nearly 700 teaching positions were vacant in South Carolina at the start of the school year, according to research conducted by the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement.

“Whenever I meet people and tell them I’m an education student, they always say it’s very necessary in schools today,” said Arron Oliver, a student from Claflin.

Despite those numbers, Claflin hopes he can help fill the shortage after the institution’s education department recently received accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

“This is important for the university because it is the golden seal of approval for everything related to education and teacher licensing,” said Dean and Professor of Education Dr Anthony Pittman . “If an institution loses its accreditation, especially for teachers, teachers who have graduated from an unaccredited program, those licenses are invalid. In other words, they cannot teach.”

Dr Pittman says one of the school’s goals is to recruit more teachers, especially black men.

“What the data suggests is that the earlier students are exposed to role models that resemble them, the more likely they are to succeed in school,” explained Dr. Pittman.

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“What Claflin is going to do is not just teach the program,” Oliver said. “We also reach out to them in their state of mind, because it’s about cultivating their mind.”

Oliver is a senior specializing in middle school education at Claflin. He says he wants to teach history in 8th grade in his hometown of Orangeburg after graduating. He says Claflin’s recent accomplishments are helping prospective teachers like him get into the classroom because the representation is very low.

“It’s wonderful to recruit more men into the profession,” said Oliver. “However, it’s even better to recruit men who have a real passion for what they do.”

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