Shasta College & Reach University Partner to Increase Local Bachelor’s Degree Attainment for Rural Working Adults

Shasta College and Reach University today announced a partnership to offer Shasta College graduates a fully transferable, job-embedded, and paid pathway to a bachelor’s degree in their local community. In the partnership’s “Associate to Bachelor’s Degree Transfer Pathway,” Shasta College graduates from 70 programs can transfer 100% of their associate credits into Reach University’s liberal studies degree program.

Rather than a traditional college campus, Reach utilizes local schools as the university learning place through its accredited on-the-job degree program. All degree seekers will work as employees for a regional education provider while completing their B.A. and will have the option to pursue a teaching credential at the end of their degree experience. This partnership provides a unique support structure for working adults to help them achieve their postsecondary goals in Shasta County while building a pipeline of educators and personnel for local schools.

“Shasta College prides itself on being a state-wide leader in innovative programs that support students in achieving their college and career goals,” said Dr. Kevin O’Rorke, Interim Superintendent and President of Shasta College. “Our partnership with Reach University provides our students a unique pathway to earning a Liberal Studies bachelor’s degree with zero student loan debt, paid work experience, and the ability to help support our local schools. We are excited to bring this program to our students.”

In this job-embedded transfer pathway, an associate degree holder will typically fill a critical job (e.g., as a classroom aide or other classified employee) while securing a debt-free bachelor’s degree in two years or less. Half of the learning towards the degree comes from the learner’s paid, on-the-job work, while the other half comes from rigorous and synchronous online Oxford-style seminars held after work hours and on the weekends. Seminars are led by Reach’s nationally recognized teacher practitioner faculty based in California and throughout the U.S.

“Redding is a special community, where partnership sits at the heart of our inclusive solutions,” said Cindy Bishop, Superintendent of Redding School District. “We’ve worked closely with Shasta College and Reach to bring this program to our local community. This new partnership bridges the individual efforts of each institution to cast a wider net in recruiting key talent to fill the critical, entry-level jobs in our schools and provides non-traditional majors with an up-close look into the privilege of teaching. Whether a Shasta College grad joins us for two years as they complete their Reach degree, or stays with us for the duration of their career, this program offers a win-win for our greater community.”

Each program participant will pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies with a concentration in education science. Shasta College associate degree holders must be employed in a local school and have access to an instructional work setting (i.e., a place where the candidate can observe or participate in mentoring, teaching, tutoring, coaching, etc.) for approximately 15 hours a week to be eligible for the program. Degree seekers will be paid throughout their bachelor’s program, taking on zero student loan debt.

“The Shasta County Office of Education is committed to doing everything we can to ensure that Shasta County students receive a quality education,” said Mike Freeman, Superintendent of Schools at Shasta County Office of Education (SCOE). “The most important piece to that puzzle is providing quality teachers in every classroom. We know that we need teachers in California and this innovative new partnership between Shasta College and Reach University removes barriers for people who want to earn a debt-free bachelor’s degree and start a long-term career path in education. This transfer program will benefit the degree seeker, our regional schools, and the young learners of this community. We are hopeful that this will help more people realize their dreams of becoming life-changing educators.”

This “Associate to Bachelor’s Degree Transfer Pathway” marks Reach’s eighth national community college articulation agreement and its second in California. After the student graduates with their B.A., they may continue working in the field of education, but there is no obligation to do so.

“Reach’s Apprenticeship Degree program was born in the state of California and continues to deepen its impact through partnerships with regional leaders such as Shasta College, SCOE, and the Redding School District,” said Joe E. Ross, President of Reach University. “Together, we’re expanding our shared efforts to create long-lasting postsecondary and career opportunities as we provide the chance for every resident to learn and grow in the community they call home. It’s with the utmost pride that we offer every aspiring teacher and aspiring degree holder a barrier-free pathway to achieving their college-to-career goals in Shasta County.”

Reach’s job-embedded bachelor’s degree program will soon begin accepting applications for the Spring ‘25 term. All current and former Shasta graduates who meet admissions requirements are eligible to apply.

To learn more about the program and view the process and eligibility details, please visit https://www.reach.edu/job-to-degree or contact Apply@Reach.Edu.

Press Release

-from press release

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