Seward County Community College/Area Technical School has been a partner with Kansas State University (KSU) in creating a multi-institutional collaborative teacher preparation model that addressed the continuum of teacher development. All aspects of this collaborative model emphasized state and national needs of Hispanic American students and English Language Learners.
One goal in meeting the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students in the Liberal-area school districts related to diversifying the teaching force; to this end, a “grow your own teacher” program was implemented. The “2+2 with SCCC/ATS,” distance-delivered, teacher-education program was designed to enable and encourage CLD adult students to become elementary teachers, was collaboratively designed, implemented, and assessed by the KSU College of Education, as well as the College of Arts and Sciences, SCCC/ATS and a number of unified school districts.
On May 15, 2010, four elementary education teacher candidates from the Liberal area will graduate with bachelor’s degrees in Elementary Education with Emphases in English as a Second Language from Kansas State University.
“We would like join KSU in recognizing these teacher candidates for their successfulness in achieving such a significant goal,” said Cynthia Rapp, SCCC/ATS dean of instruction. These “soon-to-be-licensed-teachers” are Louisa Garcia, Ashley Goode, Maricela Rosales, and Sylvia Villa. Through the collaborative efforts of SCCC/ATS and the other partner institutions, the “grow your own teacher” project is a success story for all.
“This grant program brought the classes I needed to SCCC/ATS and offered them as evening and weekend classes which allowed me to maintain a full-time job to take care of my two boys,” said Garcia of Liberal. “I am looking forward to making a difference in children's lives as well as my son seeing how all my hard work, his early mornings and time away from each other has finally paid off.”
Garcia said the SCCC/ATS provided courses as independent studies so that she could continue her educational plan, as well as provide seminars for test-taking tips and places to meet to complete her course work.
“The staff at SCCC helped me out tremendously,” she said. “From the bookstore, to the financial aid office, to the library, they all did everything they could to help us in whatever we needed. Anything that had to be sent to KSU was done so in a timely manner and we were also reminded of anything we hadn't done and needed to get done.”
“This program helped me to completely finish my degree, and stay here in Southwest Kansas,” said Ashley Goode of Hugoton, who hopes to be teaching in this southwest Kansas area. “I look forward to teaching and being able to help set the foundation for learning for my students.”
SCCC/ATS helped Goode take prerequisite classes and prepare for her classes through K-State. The classes at SCCC/ATS were small, and it felt like the instructors treated you as an individual, not just another person who wants a grade.