Saint Francis forges teacher education partnership with Northwest State Community College

FORT WAYNE, Ind.—The University of Saint Francis announces a partnership with Northwest State Community College (NSCC) of Archbold, Ohio.

In the new articulation agreement, NSCC students who complete associate degrees in Early Childhood Development or Applied Science-Paraprofessional Education will be accepted with junior-year status into the Bachelor of Arts in Educational Studies program in the Saint Francis Division of Teacher Education. Earning a bachelor’s degree will then allow those students to enter the Transition to Teaching or master’s level program to pursue teacher licensure. A total of 62 or 63 credits will transfer toward the 120 required credit hours for the Saint Francis bachelor’s degree.

In addition to its Archbold campus, Northwest State Community College is opening a full-service campus in Van Wert, Ohio in the spring of 2025, less than 45 minutes from Saint Francis. 

“The University of Saint Francis continues to pursue connections and opportunities that will benefit our students and provide them with the best opportunity to succeed,” Saint Francis President Dr. Lance Richey said. “The Division of Teacher Education’s articulation agreement with Northwest State Community College will open doors to dedicated students who will ultimately become the influential teachers of tomorrow.”

The Saint Francis partnership with NSCC begins Aug. 1. 

“We are pleased to start this partnership, which is among initiatives Saint Francis continues to develop to help address the nationwide teacher shortage,” said Juanita Oberley, Ed.D., director of the Division of Teacher Education. “We are excited for the opportunity this affords to the education students at Northwest State Community College to assimilate into our Saint Francis program.”

“NSCC is excited to partner with Saint Francis to improve the education field by providing high-quality teacher candidates in our communities,” said Amy Thomas, NSCC education faculty and coordinator of ODE Associate Licensure Programs. “NSCC offers all education program classes online; field experiences can be completed in their own community to ensure that the associate licensure option is still available. We are happy to be able to provide multiple options for students and this agreement with Saint Francis will do just that.”

Dr. Todd Hernandez, president of Northwest State Community College, added, “Northwest State is excited to partner with Saint Francis to create additional access for our students. The ability for our graduates to easily transfer to a four-year partner to continue their education is very mission centric for us by improving lives and strengthening communities.”

The agreement follows other Saint Francis initiatives to address the national teacher shortage, including:

Northwest State Community College is an accredited two-year, state-assisted institution of higher education that has served northwest Ohio since 1969. Northwest State is committed to providing a quality, affordable education with personal attention and small class sizes. The college offers associate degrees with numerous transfer options, short-term certificate programs and workforce training programs designed to meet the needs of local businesses and industries. For more information, visit or call 419-267-5511.

Founded in 1890 in the Catholic Franciscan tradition, the University of Saint Francis offers more than 60 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs through the College of Health Sciences and the College of Arts, Sciences and Business. In addition to its traditional programs, Saint Francis designs focused curricula for working adults in Fort Wayne, Crown Point and online. USF Downtown houses the music technology program while offering enhanced internship and networking opportunities for students. The University of Saint Francis, recognized as an NAIA Five-Star Champion of Character institution, has 18 athletic programs boasting two individual and four team NAIA national championships. Approximately 1,900 students from a broad geographic region attend Saint Francis.