Teacher Prep Students Maintain Straight A's to Graduation
graduates from left, Connie White, Sheri Chang
and Bobby Corley
They were first in line
to receive their diplomas. Three students from the Halifax
Community College-Elizabeth City State University Teacher
Prep program had the chance to march across the stage at the
ECSU campus and receive their credentials on May 3.
Graduates Sheri Chang, Bobby Corley and Connie White
graduated from the program—and not only that—they each
graduated with a straight “A” average.
“We really pushed each other,” said Corley. The three were
previously HCC students and benefited from the partnership.
They were able to take classes at HCC and online throughout
the program, which saved a lot of traveling time.
Chang graduated from HCC in 2006 with an Associate in Arts
degree and went straight into the Teacher Prep program. “I
really want to make a difference in the lives of children,”
she said. Chang had been a substitute teacher for about two
years in the Roanoke Rapids Graded School District before
beginning the program. She continues to work as a sub and
hopes to find a full-time K-5 teaching position soon.
Ultimately, she plans on earning a master's degree.
“Being able to be at home was a huge benefit,” she
explained. Chang has a family with two children so going
back to school was not an easy thing to do. A Roanoke Rapids
resident, she felt this was a good program, especially for
people with families, since it is close to home. “And that
helps, especially with the gas prices,” she added.
Corley, who was an honor student and a math and English
tutor while at HCC said that Teacher Prep is a good program.
Currently serving as a substitute teacher for Halifax County
Schools, he has aspirations of becoming a full-time math
teacher in the fall. Corley earned an Associate in
Science-Teacher Associate degree in 1995 from HCC. He
entered the Associate in Arts—Teacher Prep program in 2004
and transferred to ECSU in the spring 2006.
He had been a teacher assistant for Halifax County for 10
years when he decided to go back to school. “I promised my
grandmother that I would finish my education and become a
teacher. She has passed on now, but I kept my promise,” the
Emporia, Va. resident said.
White was also an HCC graduate in the 2006 class, earning an
Associate in Arts degree and going straight into the Teacher
Prep program. “I've always wanted to be a teacher since I
was a young child,” she said. “I always had a passion for
it.” The mother of three found it difficult to balance life
and school demands, but not impossible.
Also a substitute in the Halifax County School System for
three years, White aims to earn a doctorate before she
considers her formal education finished. A resident of
Roanoke Rapids, White enjoyed learning about the different
philosophies and methods of teaching. “It was a well-rounded
education. We were exposed to all types of situations,” she
She enjoyed her observation time and her student teaching
including her time working with exceptional children. She
described her elation at seeing the knowledge click in her
student's minds. “I loved it.” White really appreciated the
one-on-one contact with the HCC and ECSU instructors during
the program. “It was hectic, but it was worth it and very