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 SRU Administrators, Faculty Brief Area Legislators on Changes in Teacher Education 

 

SPOTLIGHT

4/2/2004

Contact: K.E. Schwab  -- 724-738-2199;  e-mail: karl.schwab@sru.edu

SLIPPERY ROCK UNIVERSITY ADMINISTRATORS, EDUCATION FACULTY BRIEF LEGISLATORSON CHANGES IN TEACHER EDUCATION AFFECTING SCHOOLS ACROSS PA

             SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Administrators and faculty in Slippery Rock University’s College of Education briefed area state legislators today on changes in higher education programs and teacher preparation that will be felt in elementary and secondary schools across the state -- and elsewhere – in the near future.

          The on-campus “Legislative Day” session welcomed State Rep. Richard R Stevenson, (R-8), and Mary Ann Shaffer, representing State Rep. Frank LaGrotta (D-10). The program opened with remarks from SRU Interim President Robert Smith, SRU Provost William Williams and Dr. Jay Hertzog, dean of SRU’s College of Education, who outlined expanding opportunities in education and explained career opportunities for those studying to be teachers.

          Stevenson and Shaffer joined a tour of McKay Education Building, home of SRU’s signature teacher education program, where they viewed an education computer lab and visited modern education classrooms where they talked with students studying to be social studies teachers and kindergarten through sixth-grade reading teachers.

          Hertzog told the group changes taking place today in teacher-preparation classes will quickly spread across elementary and secondary school classrooms as graduates take their place as classroom teachers throughout the state.

          In reviewing the program, Stevenson praised the university saying the day allowed him to gain knowledge that will help in forming his votes in the legislature. “This day is part of the legislative process. It helps to know the issues and be informed of them by those who are involved,” he noted, adding that such sessions allow him to share knowledge with fellow legislators as they work on bills and with formulating the state’s budget. He said he was now better able to associate people with specific programs adding such connection also aid in the legislative process.

          On learning of SRU’s international student-teacher programs, Shaffer asked the importance of such programs, with Hertzog explaining, “The exposure to different cultures our students receive as part of their overseas student-teaching work is very impressive. Most of our students come from Pennsylvania and will remain as teachers in Pennsylvania, but to have a well-rounded education, they need exposure to other cultures. While our students benefit from such travel and experience, their students will in turn benefit from the knowledge gained in such travels and experiences once they take charge in their future classrooms.”

          Dr. Herbert Hunt, assistant to the dean, detailed a number of educational changes affecting those electing to major in education at SRU or other colleges and universities across Pennsylvania. “Students must now meet higher grade-point averages to enter the College of Education,” Hunt told the legislative contingent, adding, he believes the higher standards are causing students to be even more dedicated to the teaching profession than in the past. Hunt updated the group on the effects of Act 34, which requires a background check for those entering the teaching profession, and the requirement of 48 hours of liberal studies classes before being permitted to teach, as well as other important areas affecting today’s classrooms.

          As part of their visit, the contingent was also updated on specific course and teaching requirements in a variety of SRU’s master’s degree and undergraduate programs, including counseling and educational psychology, student personnel, secondary education mathematics and science, elementary education and early childhood, as well as secondary education and foundations of education, physical education and sport management, and SRU’s programs in special education. The joint SRU, Clarion and Edinboro universities program offering a principal’s certificate was also explained. Chairs of the various education departments were on hand to answer questions and provide background.                                                                                            

PN, PGN, PWN, PR

          

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