NORTH CAROLINA (WECT) - The last class of "Teaching Fellows" is graduating in North Carolina this month, the program helps to recruit students into the teaching profession by offering scholarships. Seeing the program go has some officials worried about the vulnerability of schools in our state.
The teaching fellows program was cut by the general assembly back in 2011, and it had a big impact on North Carolina.
Since it began, reports say the program graduated more than 8,500 Teaching Fellows and a majority went on to work in our state.
Some say a program that entices students to become teachers is still needed. There is a push by lawmakers to create new programs in its absence, and officials in our area hope to see those measures become law.
"One of the things the teaching fellows program did for me personally was help me to know how to be a better advocate for the teaching profession," Jessica Swencki with Brunswick County Schools said. "It exposed me to a tremendous amount of opportunities that I probably would not have had, had I not been part of this program. So I think programs that are designed to really recruit, to grow, and then to retain teachers by offsetting the cost of college and then the repayment through service is just a great model and it's a model that has worked."