January 24, 2014
The education major is more than just learning how to teach. There’s a big misconception that it’s one of the easier majors on our campus but three juniors of the program are willing to dispel that rumor.
The education program is broken down into five sections. You can be in Early Childhood, Middle Childhood, Adolescent to Young Adult (AYA), Multi-Age, or Intervention Specialist. Intervention specialist deals with students with disabilities and can be paired with any of the other four branches of the program. Mount education students can also get an endorsement to their license to also teach grades four and five if they are in the early childhood major or have an endorsement to teach all four core subjects for grades four through six if they are in middle school. AYA, Multi-Age, and Middle Childhood all focus on one or two particular concentrations. For AYA, students actually choose one of four subjects to major in and education is actually their minor. The chart below further illustrates the options in the education program.
|Licensure Area||License Type||Concentration Options|
|Early Childhood||Pre K-34-5 Endorsement||All subjects|
|Middle Childhood||4-94-6 Endorsement (to study all four concentrations)||Language ArtsMathScienceSocial Studies|
|Adolescent to Young Adult (AYA)||7-12||Integrated Language ArtsIntegrated MathIntegrated Social StudiesScience, Chemistry, Physics
|Multi-age||Pre K-12||Foreign/World LanguageHealthMusicPhysical Education
|Intervention Specialist||Early Childhood (Pre K-3)Mild/Moderate (K-12)||All subjects|
“You don’t just learn how to teach, but you learn programs, lessons, and student behavior at that age and cognitive level,” said Junior and Middle Childhood Major Kelsey Kincaid. “You don’t just have to learn to prepare students for standardized tests, but their core classes.”
Education students in Ohio have to pay at least $210 to simply take the tests to get their license. Each individual test is $105 in Ohio, which is not as steep as the $150 fee from previous years but is still costly. Education students must take at least two tests, but depending on the license they want to obtain, some may have to take five or more. (That’s not counting whether or not they pass the test. If they don’t pass the test, they must pay to take it again.)
Every student has to at least attempt all of their tests before they begin their clinicals (student teaching), which is usually in the spring semester of their senior year. In addition to taking tests for the state of Ohio, education students must also pass a Teacher Performance Assessment (TPA) during their student teaching. Education majors, not including the education minors, do not have to complete an SCE their final year at mount, but they do still have their clinicals and TPA, which replaces their SCE. The AYA students, who are education minors, have to complete their SCE within their major, and then also complete student teaching, state tests and the TPA.
On top of the fees, pre-clinicals, and clinicals, education students must also complete observation hours within their four years at Mount Union. This is where they travel to classrooms in different schools to observe and sometimes teach lessons. In addition to class hours at Mount Union, students have to complete observation hours, while still managing to maintain their homework and possibly a part-time job. Education students also have to acquire a 2.5 GPA and at least 50 credit hours by their junior semester to be accepted into the education program. After being accepted, they must maintain at least a C in all of their classes.
“People think the education major is easy, but it isn’t. You have to learn to create Individualized Education Programs (plans for the entire year, known as IEP), learn to create lesson plans and get them approved, and understand standards and relevant methods,” said Junior Danielle Dumski, a mild/moderate intervention specialist and early childhood major. “It’s 50% about principal and evaluation and 50% about student progress. Everyone’s three years is different. What you put into it is what you get out of it. The teaching program is what you make it.”
Junior and Intervention Specialist and Early Childhood Major Amanda Leigh describes why students like her, chose to take on a license to teach students with disabilities.
“Everybody deserves a fair shot. It’s very rewarding and fun. It’s an eye-opener because you see people with disabilities in everyday life and how they’re treated, and you think about it differently,” said Leigh.
Leigh, Dumski and Kincaid all praise the professors in their major. They stated that all of their professors are very open to helping them one-on-one. They also shared that this allowed them to get to know them well, which allowed the professors to share their experience in order to help the students better understand what actually happens in the classroom and to make lessons and methods relevant.
The education major also offers Kappa Delta Pi, which is for education students with honors. Students must have at least a 3.5 GPA. In addition, there is also the Student National Education Association (SNEA) for any education major, which gives opportunities to volunteer at local school districts. Their next volunteer project is going to Alliance Middle School and chaperoning the Valentine’s Day Dance.