Converse and Spartanburg School District Seven Announce Valkyrie Middle College Program
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Converse College and Spartanburg School District Seven announce a new collaborative program aimed to create a pipeline for highly qualified K-12 educators in the Upstate. The Valkyrie Middle College will enroll selected Spartanburg High School (SHS) students who wish to pursue a career in education, enabling them to earn up to a full year of college credit on the Converse campus during their junior and senior years of high school. Students who successfully complete the program will be eligible for priority acceptance into Converse College’s teacher education program and will receive priority consideration for teaching jobs with District Seven after graduating from Converse with teacher certification.
Spartanburg High School students will be identified, screened and admitted into the Valkyrie Middle College during the spring of their sophomore year. They will begin coursework in the fall of their junior year, attending classes at Converse for the first half of their school day then returning to SHS in time for lunch and afternoon classes. Valkyrie Middle College students will graduate from SHS with approximately 30 transferrable credit hours at Converse College and will be eligible to enroll in advanced-level courses to complete the Bachelor of Arts in education. The first cohort of Valkyrie Middle College students will be admitted this spring and will begin classes in Fall 2020.
“We are thrilled to partner with Spartanburg School District Seven for this innovative approach to developing high-quality K-12 educators through the Valkyrie Middle College program,” says Converse President Krista Newkirk. “Students selected for this program will be welcomed into the Converse family and benefit from undergraduate level instruction and mentorship from Converse’s full-time faculty members. As our community aims to retain workforce talent through initiatives such as ONE Spartanburg, this partnership between Converse and District Seven will lend support by inspiring and equipping teachers we hope will reinvest their talents right here in Spartanburg.”
“Students selected for this program will be welcomed into the Converse family and benefit from undergraduate level instruction and mentorship from Converse’s full-time faculty members” – President Krista Newkirk
Courses for the Valkyrie Middle College will focus on subject areas in both teacher education and general education. Courses will be taught solely to Valkyrie Middle College program participants by Converse faculty members.
“A Converse degree is recognized throughout the Southeast as a mark of a quality educator and we look forward to having more Converse graduates teach in Spartanburg District Seven classrooms,” said District Seven Superintendent Dr. Russell Booker. “District Seven has a long tradition of providing early college programs that advance our students’ educational and career opportunities and we are very pleased to add the Valkyrie Middle College to this roster. It is our hope that our students’ passion for teaching will be ignited through the Valkyrie Middle College and that this experience will set them on course to join the next generation of educators here in Spartanburg and beyond.”