November 21, 2007
Master's students benefit from teaching program
CARBONDALE, Ill. — Education graduates can earn a master's degree at minimal cost while sharpening their classroom skills and growing professionally, thanks to an innovative program within Southern Illinois University Carbondale's College of Education and Human Services.
Called the Teaching Fellows Program, it links beginning graduate students with mentor teachers in four local school districts. The Fellows receive tuition waivers and $12,000 graduate stipends from mid-August to the end of May to serve as "co-teachers," planning lessons and teaching students four days a week while taking six to nine credits of graduate work in the fall, spring and summer semesters.
"This is an exceptional opportunity for them," said Lynn C. Smith, head of SIUC's Department of Curriculum and Instruction.
"For the cost of student fees, they get wonderful experience with a mentor teacher and can earn their degrees in just two years. If they need extra money, they can substitute teach one day a week in their schools, though many use the time for study or for a class they might want to take that's not offered at night."
The Fellows work in pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade classes, teaching in the Carbondale Elementary District, Giant City Consolidated School District, Murphysboro Community Unit Schools District and Unity Point Community Consolidated School District.
It's not uncommon for these local districts to hire the Fellows who serve them, but many Fellows have gone on to jobs elsewhere after graduation.
"We have them all over the place —Chicago, St. Louis, San Antonio, San Francisco and Nashville, Tenn., to name a few," Smith said.
Smith welcomes inquiries about the program from current graduates interested in mentoring opportunities before teaching on their own and from undergraduate students planning to continue their education. Reach her by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 618/453-4267.
This year's program has 10 students enrolled for fall, with an 11th joining the group in the January. They include (by hometown):
Chicago: Denardo L. Williams, a second-year master's student in C&I who earned his undergraduate degree in 2006 from SIUC;
Du Quoin: John M. McNeal, a second-year master's student in C&I who earned his undergraduate degree in 2005 from SIUC;
Greenville: Lyndsey R. Marcot, the daughter of Roger E. and Anita H. Marcoot and a second-year master's student in educational psychology who earned her undergraduate degree in 2004 from SIUC;
Metropolis: Ashley E. Shetler, the daughter of Mark H. and Nancy J. Shetler and a first-year master's student in C&I who earned her undergraduate degree in 2006 from Murray State University;
Ridgway: Katy M. Newton, the daughter of L. Wade and Lesa K. Newton and a second-year master's student in C&I who earned her undergraduate degree in 2006 from SIUC;
Sesser: Sheri D. Sulser, the daughter of Michael E. and Robin D. Sulser and a second-year master's student in educational psychology who earned her undergraduate degree in 2006 from SIUC;
Wheeling: Robin E. Carter, the daughter of Robert and Marinee L. Carter and a first-year master's student in C&I who earned her undergraduate degree in May from SIUC;
Dallas: David W. Allmon, the son of Billy Wayne and Carol I. Hallmon and a first-year master's student in C&I who earned his undergraduate degree in May from the University of North Texas.
Linza Scott and Lindsay Wright have also enrolled in the program.