New SCF Education Bachelor’s Degree Program Aims to Address Teacher Shortage

(Bradenton, Fla., April 20, 2021)School Districts rely on a healthy pipeline of new teachers, but national and local trends have seen undergraduate education programs disappearing due to budget cuts and enrollment issues. State College of Florida (SCF) has recently set focus on addressing the growing need for early learning and K-12 teachers in the region.  

Together with support from Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation, SCF has begun the development of a new Elementary Education and Exceptional Student Education (ESE) Baccalaureate program in the Manatee-Sarasota region. Knowing the majority of existing teachers grew up in the area, the program will ensure that young people have a local pathway to enter the classroom with degree in hand.

“Our service region has demonstrated an intense demand for K-12 teachers. This critical need is continually substantiated in conversation with our partners in the local school districts,” said Dr. Todd G. Fritch, executive vice president and provost of SCF. “We’re grateful to the Barancik Foundation for their support to effectively prepare teachers in our area.”

$217,767 in funds from Barancik Foundation will primarily be used for program development and program launching, including the hiring of qualified faculty and staff as well as programmatic and course curriculum development.

“There’s a reason everyone remembers their favorite teacher—they make all the difference in the world to a student’s success,” says Teri A Hansen, President|CEO of Barancik Foundation. “Our goal is to strengthen the local conduits we have to getting quality teachers in our classrooms.”

The Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) identifies a critical needs list for teachers in Florida, and both Elementary Education and ESE tend to be among the top 10 urgent needs nationally. FLDOE statistics show an anticipated 14.8% growth rate for Elementary Teachers and Exceptional Special Education between 2019 and 2027, which is the ninth-highest rate of growth presented in the FLDOE occupational growth projections list.

SCF’s Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education Program will prepare the graduate to teach children in kindergarten to sixth grade. B.S. in Elementary Education program graduates will be eligible for Florida Elementary Teacher Certification (K-6), and endorsements in Reading (K-12) and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL, K-12).

SCF’s Bachelor of Science in Exceptional Student Education will prepare graduates to teach ESE in grades K-12. Courses for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Endorsement and Reading Endorsement are included. The ESE program graduate will be eligible for Florida Professional Teacher Certification in ESE, Reading, and ESOL.

To learn more about how you can support this new program, contact Cassandra Holmes at or 941-752-5389.

About Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation

The Charles & Margery Barancik family has long believed in the power of philanthropy to shape our world and enrich the lives of all people. It was the expression of this belief that led them in 2014 to establish the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation-a private, family foundation located in Sarasota, Florida. The Barancik Foundation creates initiatives and awards grants in Sarasota and beyond in the areas of education, humanitarian causes, arts and culture, the environment, and medical research. Visit to learn more.

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