AST: The Best Kept Secret in the Region

Staff reports

“We highly encourage future educators to apply, but you have to put some thought into this,” said faculty advisor Julie Sullivan. “You can’t just wake up at 2 a.m. and decide to do this. We don’t ever say ‘no,’ but sometimes we have to say ‘not yet.’”

 The program requires time and effort from students to complete. In order to complete the program, students must earn a C or better in each core class. Each student must perform at least 20 hours of field placement –time in an actual classroom. Once course work is completed, students must pass the Praxis II exams, and I and must conduct an exit interview at a four-year university.

Those that enter the program, then decide against a teaching career, can easily transfer any earned credits toward a General Studies degree at River Parishes Community College.

Currently the program boasts six participants. Sullivan hopes to have as many as 15 in the upcoming spring semester. The existing group recently launched a chapter of the Future Teachers of America club on campus. Through that organization, they raised funds last semester through a bake sale to buy each first-grade student at St. Amant Primary school a book. Each teacher at the school received a book as well, for use in the classroom or school library.  At the end of the fundraising campaign, FTA members read books to the St. Amant pupils in their classrooms on Monday, Dec. 14.

The FTA chapter has plans to continue raising funds next semester. They plan to expand their book-buying fundraising initiative to Prairieville Primary school. The menu may even change as well. Instead of a bake sale the group will explore the idea of selling jambalaya as a way to increase the fund.

River Parishes Community College is an open admissions, SACS-accredited, two-year college offering a wide range of day, evening, and online courses.  Classes taken at RPCC are transferable to any college or university in the state.  RPCC offers associate degree programs in General Science, Liberal Arts, Science in Teaching and General Studies, with concentrations including Environmental Science, General Business, Criminal Justice, and Computer Science. To apply for admission, or for more information, log on to