The school of education hosts lunch n’ learn event

The 5th.-Year M.Ed. Spring 2017 Lunch n’ Learn was held Tuesday in Dan Waggoner Hall.

Junior and senior students signed in, grabbed pizza, chatted among themselves and were heckled by Dr. Carlos Martinez, the dean of the School of Education, who popped in before the event got started.

Amy Orcutt, interim director of Graduate Admissions, gave a presentation discussing the benefits of the program, which she said is designed for “highly qualified senior students.”

The benefits of the program, Orcutt said, are that it is shorter than many master’s degree programs; students can finish it at a cheaper cost by using some of their undergraduate financial aid, and they get to stay with their Wesleyan family that they have been with for the last two to four years.

Orcutt said the program can also lead students to additional specializations, certifications, and job opportunities.

“It is designed to build your teacher toolbox,” Orcutt said. “And you get to be heckled by Dr. Martinez for an additional year, and who doesn’t want that?”

Junior liberal studies major Alyssa Kilgore said she was excited to see her future potentially mapped out with the fifth-year program option.

“All I have to do is just go for it!” she said.

The master’s program offers three different concentrations: gifted and talented; reading and writing; and second language education and culture, Orcutt said. The cost is $654 per credit hour, making it the most cost-effective master’s program Wesleyan has to offer.

“From the beginning of my education I had always thought about getting my master’s, and at Triple E Week we learned about the fifth-year program,” said Mary Olmos, a senior math major with an education cluster.  “I didn’t know about it, and when I learned that I could get my Masters a year after my bachelor’s I was like – heck yeah! I need to do that.”

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Triple E week in full swing

Texas Wesleyan students seeking to become certified teachers will be  spending this week attending workshops geared toward equipping them for certification exams.

Triple E Week began Monday with a welcome and orientation seminar at Lou’s Place designed to help students organize their thoughts and objectives for the week. “Triple E” stands for Educators’ Exam Extravaganza.

School of Education students will have no regular classes through Thursday, according to the Triple E Week schedule e-mailed to all education students.

“We are going to provide you with everything we possibly can to help you pass these tests,” said Dr. Elizabeth Ward, associate professor of education, at Monday’s orientation. “We are not just creating great teachers, we are creating great student leaders.”

This week’s workshops are geared specifically toward preparing students to take the Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities (PPR) and content certification exams.

“I don’t actually take the exams until next year, but I feel very prepared for the PPR. I still have a long way to go for my content exam!” said junior and Spanish major Debra Barrick.

The ESL (English as a second language) and bilingual workshops will be of the most interest to Barrick, who will be taking the Spanish content exam.

“They give you a lot of other resources that will help, such as taking practice tests online, but it’s still a lot,” Barrick said. “Hopefully between these lectures and online tests it will be enough.”

Junior education major Meghan Gaskamp said the week is a great resource to prepare students for the upcoming exams.

“How they summarize everything for you makes it a little less scary,” Gaskamp said. “There really aren’t any downsides to it.”

Several students noted how informational the week had been in past semesters, and said they were excited for what this week has in store.

“I really like it,” said junior education major Shanika Cliff. “It tells you what you need to know on the state core exam.”

Cliff, who participated in the event in a previous semester, particularly enjoyed the physical education lessons.

“Last semester the PE seminar was really fun,” Cliff said. “You gotta get up and jump! She actually taught you the moves, rather than just having to sit and listen to lecture the whole time.”

Cliff said that while most students are always hungry during the long workshop days, they were not on Monday because the welcome and overview session included pizza for all students.

Dulce Benitez, a senior enrolled in the five-year master’s program majoring in Spanish with education as a secondary certification, had participated in the event before, and had a great experience.

“When we do questions as a group, and the teacher goes over everything and explains the why” was the most helpful part of the seminars, she said.

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