By Norm Miller, LCNews
PINEVILLE, La. (LCNews) –The 2018 Board of Regents Fact Book reports that Louisiana College in Pineville leads the state with the largest number of teachers alternatively prepared who earned highly effective ratings in both professional practice and student growth outcomes during 2014–2017.
Amy Craig, Dean of Louisiana College’s School of Education, notes several reasons for the TEACH program’s success in a highly competitive market that include fast-track hybrid instruction, intentional mentorships, targeted instruction, and affordability.
“We leverage the best of classroom and online instruction for a hybrid, fast-track approach second to none,” Craig said. “Unlike an entirely online program, we offer personal attention and an intense two weeks of face-to-face classroom interaction in the summer to help develop individual relationships and effective mentorships between student and professor that the cold sterility of a solely online program simply cannot deliver.”
While all programs provide a mentor for support, LC’s TEACH provides 2 for every student – one who focuses on professional practice with the second specializing in the content of the student’s certification area.
The fast-track option is for those possessing an accredited undergraduate degree and seeking teacher certification. LC’s program requires a 4-week hybrid session on campus in the summer and only two more semesters online. Other programs require four full semesters.
“We embed specific hands-on training about using data to effectively drive instruction, which ensures that our teacher candidates can favorably affect student outcomes,” Craig added.
MORE LC TEACH ADVANTAGES
–AFFORDABILITY – With the available federal funded TEACH grant, tuition is less than $3,250 — a savings of about $1,750 compared to other fully online efforts.
–PRAXIS PREP – Students may complete the nine summer hours without Praxis, yet must have CORE and PRAXIS content exams passed to begin the fall internship. To assist students in meeting this requirement, applicants to the program are given immediate access to a free online PRAXIS prep course complete with practice tests.
–MAT CREDIT – LC is the only school in Louisiana approved to apply all 21 hours of fast-track certification toward a MAT degree. Other institutions typically allow only 12.
WHAT STUDENTS ARE SAYING
“Through Louisiana College’s TEACH/MAT program, I have been able to fulfill my dream of becoming a teacher, enhance my educational skills, and build on my knowledge of classroom strategies,” said Jessica Borland, Louisiana State Elementary Teacher of the Year. “I am thankful this program allowed me the opportunity to grow in my professional career.”
Borland teaches 4th grade at South Grant Elementary School in Grant Parish, and will graduate with her Master of Arts in Teaching degree in December 2019.
Louisiana College TEACH/MAT alumnus Jason Lachica won the Overall Golden Apple Teacher of the Year Award. Sponsored by Hixson Motors, the award included a new car.
“Louisiana College’s TEACH/MAT program is the sole reason my career in education continued after my first year of teaching,” Lachica said. “The support received from the professors, mentors and administration is by far the best I ever received as a student.”
The learning environment was conducive to student success by “building relationships and through student/instructor collaboration,” he added. “The expectations set for us as students were reasonable yet rigorous. My experience progressed from the TEACH program to the MAT and then the MEd. I would not trade my LC experience for any other educational experience.”
Lachica teaches multiple secondary online courses at Montgomery High School in Montgomery, La.
After having one bad higher-ed experience, Mark Dawson of Natchitoches sought certification at LC and graduated in 2018. “When I went to the first classes and realized the professors saw me as a person and not just someone who is required to do all the school work, I knew I’d found the right school” said Dawson, a special education teacher at Natchitoches Central High School.
“In my time at LC I thrived. I completed the teacher prep program and then earned the MAT and a 4.0 GPA. It wasn’t easy; it was actually quite enlightening,” Dawson said. “I worked hard for my degree and am now using that knowledge in the classroom. I always advocate to any potential teachers to enroll at LC’s teacher programs, and I share my experience with them.”
Louisiana College President Rick Brewer applauded Craig’s commitment to her craft, saying she “embodies the spirit and the commitment of our Vision of Preparing Graduates and Transforming Lives. Dr. Craig is an educator who has the passion to recruit and train other educators in a manner that evokes the kind of quotes from our alums which set Louisiana College well apart from other higher-ed institutions.”
Persons interested in Louisiana College’s TEACH/MAT program should inquire via email to TEACH@lacollege.edu.