Within the past few years the department of education at John Brown University added a master’s degree program and announced a structural change, continuing to expand and move forward as the College of Education. The current semester is no exception to growth, with new changes in the College’s traditional undergraduate and graduate programs.
In the traditional undergraduate program, more emphasis than ever before is being placed on field experience, internships and other student-teaching opportunities. Gloria Gale, associate dean of the college of education, estimates that between 400-500 children are being impacted by JBU students this semester, and in the spring expects the number to increase to more than 1,000.
Also new this fall are two model classrooms, located in the LRC. One room has been transformed into a third grade classroom, while the other resembles a high school environment.
For postgraduate students, the College will now offer a chance to travel to Belfast, Northern Ireland during the summer. This is the first master’s-level trip—undergraduate students can go to Uganda—specifically designed for the College.
The trip will be led by Gale, who explained that the College worked to put together the trip over the past few years. She visited Belfast last May to make contacts in the local schools and finalize other plans.
Students will depart June 5 and return the next Sunday, June 16. During their week abroad, they will work with three schools, discuss teacher education in Northern Ireland with a representative from Stranmillis University College, and tour famous sites such as the C.S. Lewis Trail and the Antrim Coast.
“Part of a master’s [program] should prepare people to be influencers,” Gale said. “I hope that students will be able to compare their experiences with something different and broaden their horizons.”
Gale also looks to the future, hopeful that this trip will foster a long-term relationship between the College and teachers in Northern Ireland. “The people there are anxious and ready for this relationship,” she said.
Eligible students should indicate interest by the end of November. The trip will be capped at 12.