The U.S. Department of Education recognized Emporia State University’s teachers’ college for excellence this summer.
According to a blog posted Tuesday, June 14, on the departments’ website, ESU cultivated educators with “the knowledge, skills, resources and fortitude to lead and succeed in the twenty first century.”
“We have several measures along the way to make sure students are meeting high standards. It makes the program rigorous but gives us quality control,” Dee Holmes, director of the ESU Professional Development Schools Program and graduate of the Kansas State Teachers’ College, said “we know that we cannot be satisfied with the status-quo, that if this is a good program, we always ask ‘how can we make it better?’”
“The primary thing is, especially at the elementary level, at Professional Development schools we have a year-long internship. At the secondary level, we have …teachers, actually in the college of liberal arts and science that have good expertise,” said Bennet, dean of the teachers’ college.
But because of recent budget cuts in the education field, some are concerned about the future success of teaching graduates in the job market.
Bennet said “For the last three years we had, this past year was not as high, we had a ninety-five percent placement rate and now this last year was lower because of the job market. The jobs just are not out there, it is not a matter of our graduates.” Bennet did not provide the placement static for the past year.
Mary Baca, sophomore education major, said “Budget cuts do discourage me and I do worry about finding a job once I graduate because there are a lot of small districts around here. They have cut back and have for sure cut teachers and it will be more difficult than before to find a job.”
However, others expressed confidence in the experience ESU provides to students of the teachers’ college.
Misty Lowe, sophomore elementary education major, said “There will always have a demand for teachers and there will always be a job out there somewhere for you.”
Holmes keeps in contact with ESU graduates, including those affected by budget cuts.
“This has happened to some of our students- the school closes and they have to reapply, but have had one very good year so when they apply in another district, they have experience and excellent references,” Holmes said, “budget cuts mean the positions available are a lot less available and a lot more competitive, so you have to be at the top of the game. Emporia State University graduates are highly completive in the workforce and absolutely are at the top of the game.”