1/12/2004 - Reinhardt Education Degree Programs Approved By Accrediting Agency
Reinhardt education major and student teacher
Christa Richards (left to right) and her students Rafi Tudela and Ashley
Maracara at R.M. Moore Elementary School study a history book in the
library. Almost one-sixth of Reinhardtï¿½s student population is
majoring in education.
A cheer went up from the student teachers as
Associate Professor of Education Harriett Lindsey gave them the good
news. "You'll be the first class of graduates certified by Reinhardt
College! Isn't that wonderful," she said, grinning from ear to ear.
As of Dec. 29, 2003, Reinhardt received notice of
the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GAPSC) approval of the
early grade and middle school programs and a reading endorsement to be
offered by Reinhardt's Price School of Education. The GAPSC, the
accreditation and teacher certification agency of the state of Georgia,
required Reinhardt to partner with an accredited institution until the
programs earned their own GAPSC approval. Clark Atlanta had provided
this oversight for Reinhardt, and previously, Brenau University offered
"This approval is
an important step forward for our distinctive teacher education
programs," Reinhardt President Dr.
J. Thomas Isherwood said. "Our Early
Childhood and Middle Grade programs share a common theme of training our
teacher educators to individualize instruction for each child. These
principles will form the foundation of our continued growth as we expand
to secondary education. The education faculty, our staff, and our
colleagues in the Cherokee County schools are to be commended for their
hard work and dedication."
education students also appreciate the hard work. "The dean, professors,
and staff have worked so hard to provide us with an education that is
quality and challenging so each of us are successful teacher
candidates," education major Danielle Polcha said. "I truly feel that
these professors have ... gone the extra mile to prepare me so I, too,
can walk in their footsteps."
Dr. Robert L.
Driscoll, dean of the Price School of Education, hopes to explore more
degree options, namely in secondary (high school) areas and possibly in
"We want to move
aggressively," he said. "We are serious about collaboratively addressing
area school system needs with the resources we have available."
With 218 education
majors, nearly a sixth of Reinhardt's student population, the education
program is central to the health of the institution, and this
announcement bodes well for the institution.
Driscoll came from
Kennesaw State University in August of 2002 with a wealth of knowledge
and experience in teacher education, program building and GAPSC
expectations. Since his arrival, Reinhardt faculty and others have been
immersed in generating the extensive descriptions, statistics and
evaluations needed to respond to state and national standards prescribed
for the GAPSC's campus visit in November 2003.
The GAPSC commended Reinhardt for its collaborative work with the Cherokee County school system and its vision.
Driscoll said the
teachers at Teasley, R.M. Moore and other local elementary and middle
schools, as well as the Central Office leadership, have been
Lindsey also views
Cherokee County Schools' cooperation as a huge opportunity. "We're going
to have a program that goes right into what the local school system
needs," Lindsey said. "It's been a great collaborative effort."
Dr. Frank R. Petruzielo, Superintendent of Schools, Cherokee County School District, agrees.
"We are delighted
to have a written, systemic partnership agreement with Reinhardt
College, one which allows both parties to work closely to provide the
best opportunities for teacher training and increases in student
achievement," he said.
are based on a differentiated teaching and assessment model, Assistant
Professor of Education Nancy Carter said. This emphasis prepares
teachers to modify their methods and time lines to respond to differing
student needs. The program also stresses the value of establishing
nurturing classrooms, where students are cared for and challenged, where
they feel comfortable enough to seek help.
Driscoll said the GAPSC also
evaluated the physical education teacher preparation program and cited
reservations about its limited staffing and resource support. He is
optimistic these items can be addressed and approval secured later this
year. In the meantime, p.e. majors will continue to partner with Clark
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