Education dept. creates master’s program and improvements

The future teachers and professors who are a part of Southern’s education department will soon have access to a Macintosh computer lab. The state-of-the-art Apple computers bring a modern feel to the education department building, Gene Taylor Hall.

“The new Mac lab provides opportunities for teacher education majors to work with technology similar to what they will experience as teachers in the classroom,” said Interim Department Chair Deborah Brown. “ Students and faculty have expressed excitement about working in the new lab.  In addition to the classes regularly scheduled in the Mac lab, faculty have been reserving the lab and taking their students in to work with educational applications to enhance and facilitate learning.”

Brown explained how even the layout of the room helps students. ”The hexagonal tables and room arrangement foster collaboration among students,” she said.

Senior elementary education student Jaylee Kennard said, “I love the new Mac lab. It is helpful because, as teachers, technology is huge in the schools we will be teaching in. I use the lab in my classes to help include Internet resources into our lesson plans.”

The lab is located on the second floor of Taylor Hall.

With one new change comes another, as the education department will offer a graduate program for a Master of Science in education curriculum and instruction. It is the first stand-alone master’s program in the school of education at Southern. The program will begin in the fall of 2014.  

Dr. Alfred Cade, dean of the school of education, said, “We are extremely excited about this program. Our school will be able to offer professional development and advanced learning as a service to our graduates. This is a great opportunity to provide a service to our are K-12 community. Our initial marketing for the program has been very positive. We are responding to numerous emails and phone calls daily.”

Cade went on to say, “We will now have the opportunity to address some outcomes in our conceptual framework, one component being teacher as a lifelong learner.”

Dr. Susan Craig is the coordinator of graduate programs for teacher education.

She said, “In terms of numbers of students, we have received several inquiries about the program since the announcement was made. We can’t estimate student numbers at this point, but interest is definitely strong.”