Edinboro University is closer to running its Preschool Education Associate Degree in Corry.

“Three or four people are actively in the application process, and a total of 10 have said they intend to do so,” said Steve Bishop, executive director of the Corry Higher Education Council that would host the program. “We need a minimum of 10 students to run the program, so we’re getting very close.”

Bishop said the time is now for anyone who’s ever considered earning an early childhood degree, or ultimately wants to earn a teaching degree.

“The stars only line up once every so many years to allow us to get a degree program off the ground like this,” he said. “If this Edinboro program doesn’t happen now, it might be five years or more before another attempt is made.

“We’ve never run an entire Edinboro degree program in Corry,” Bishop added. “I would really love to do this, because it’s going to change the lives of everyone who participates in it.”

The students would work together as a “cohort” for about 2 1/2 years, taking all 20 of their courses together at the Hi-Ed Council in downtown Corry. The program is planned to start in late January, and conclude in May 2014. Students would take three evening courses each fall and spring semester, and three courses in the summers of 2012 and 2013.

“It’s a great schedule, to be able to complete the degree in 2 1/2 years,” Bishop said.

Program completers can work in a variety of jobs, including as a daycare supervisor or a teacher’s aide for a school district. The degree also serves as the first two years of a four-year teaching degree, for anyone who wants to go on to Edinboro’s main campus.

Bishop said anyone who has ever considered earning an early childhood or education-related degree should grab the opportunity. He noted the savings to area residents in travel time and expenses alone will be significant.

Edinboro wants to answer the question about running the Corry program as soon as possible, because it will require the scheduling of instructors. The application and financial aid process take 2-3 weeks to complete through Edinboro’s Admissions Office, so applicants need to begin as soon as possible.

“Quick action is vital at this point,” Bishop said.

To receive an application checklist that outlines each step of the process, contact Bishop at 664-9405, or email sbishop@corryhied.org.

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