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BEST Program Expanding to Andover Campus after 10 years of Growth

Butler and Emporia from Students to Teachers (BEST)
Published: Thursday, May 7th, 2015

In the fall of 2004, Butler Community College and Emporia State University (ESU) launched a partnership program specially designed for students who are place-bound or have a busy schedule.

Since then, students seeking an elementary education degree have been able to complete their entire four-year degree at the Butler campus in El Dorado. Beginning in August, students will have the same opportunity in Andover.
Over the past ten years, the BEST program (Butler and Emporia – from Students to Teachers) has nearly doubled in size. The first graduating class had 11 students, this year 21 students will earn their degree. 
The expansion to Andover allows the program to double enrollment from 30 to 60 students. The expansion also allows El Dorado to offer day classes and Andover to offer evening classes. Online classes are also available. 
“The program has been successful because both institutions have had strong personnel running the program, and both institutions have a similar philosophy with a focus on student success,” said Lori Winningham, Butler Community College dean of the Math, Science, and Education division.
The program allows ESU faculty members to teach at Butler. Students in this “2+2 program have the same requirements as ESU students. New students who want to enroll in the program must apply to ESU.
Teddy Roop, Emporia State University elementary education instructor, was a graduate of the BEST program and mentor teacher for the program while in the classroom herself. Roop is also the point of contact for advising for students interested in the BEST Program.
“As a non-traditional student, the BEST program allowed me to be close to my family and work while attending classes,” said Roop. “The support from Butler and ESU faculty and staff allowed me to be successful in transitioning from general education classes to my junior and senior years. The district where I completed my internship and student teaching is where I was also hired to teach.”