Southeast Missouri State University
For more information, contact:
Ann K. Hayes (573) 651-2552
ahayes@semo.edu

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SOUTHEAST EDUCATION PROGRAM OFFERS NEW STUDENT TEACHING OPPORTUNITY IN KANSAS CITY

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Jan. 10, 2003 - Elementary education majors at Southeast Missouri State University have a new student teaching opportunity that offers expanded responsibility and real-world experience. Beginning with the fall 2003 semester, Southeast students can participate in the Kansas City, Mo., Urban Residential Internship program.

"The program offers much more than the average student teaching experience," said Dr. Paul Watkins, director of field experiences in Southeast's College of Education. "Participants will complete not just a semester, but a full year of student teaching in a Kansas City public school or charter school, providing them with experience teaching in an urban school district. Each student teacher also will serve as the primary classroom instructor, with a full-time, experienced teacher serving as his mentor." Each mentor will advise two student teachers.

A program supervisor from Northwest Missouri State University, a managing partner in the program, also will conduct weekly classroom observations of each student and lead weekly seminar discussions to provide the student teachers with feedback and suggestions.

"The program is designed to ensure that students receive further support and encouragement from each other," adds Watkins. "An important element of this program is that the participants in the residential internship program and their program supervisor all live in the same Kansas City apartment complex. The arrangement builds closeness and camaraderie among students and allows them to share ideas and teaching methods with each other. The program supervisor will provide additional encouragement and information for the students in their home setting."

This support network of peers and experienced professionals will provide students with resources and encouragement that new teachers do not often receive, enabling them to strengthen and expand their confidence and teaching skills. The hands-on experience they receive through this program will allow these students to excel in their studies and better prepare for their careers as educators, said Watkins.

The benefits do not stop there, according to Watkins. "In addition to the extraordinary experience students will receive in the program, the program also covers the full cost of incidental fees and living expenses for the year, and provides a stipend of $11,930, all paid by the Kansas City School District and two supporting foundations. The students also will receive one year of teaching credit in the Kansas City School District, allowing them to move up on the salary schedule, and have guaranteed employment after graduation. In exchange for the experience they gain in the program, students agree to teach in the district for one year after they complete their student teaching."

Students wishing to participate in the residential internship program must apply through the office of field experiences in the College of Education at Southeast. Applicants will be evaluated based on grades, professor references, a self-evaluation and an interview with Kansas City school district administrators and teachers. Students from other participating universities will take part in the program as well.

Currently, Southeast education majors can also choose to student teach in schools across the Southeast Missouri region, including in St. Louis.

Southeast Missouri State University understands the importance of first-hand experience in preparing today's students to enter the professional world. The University encourages all programs of study offered at Southeast to provide students with opportunities to participate in the many experiential learning opportunities, or internships, that Southeast offers. Ninety percent of all Southeast students benefit from at least one experiential learning experience in their field during their time at Southeast. Fifty-three percent benefit from three or more experiential learning opportunities. This new program is another move in that direction. Such experiences allow students to gain real-world experience, enabling students who experience Southeast to experience success.

 

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