Many Centre College alumni uphold the College’s charge to promote lifelong learning by giving back to their communities through teaching. The interdisciplinary education minor facilitates this mission by encouraging students to take advantage of the variety of opportunities that Centre offers and explore the broader realm of educational studies, including history, leadership, policy and diversity.
“As part of a liberal arts education that provides students with a breadth of knowledge as well as skills in critical thinking, problem solving, writing and collaboration, an education minor at Centre offers students a unique opportunity to approach educational issues from a variety of angles,” Ellen Prusinski, coordinator for engaged and experiential learning and assistant professor of education, said.
“Education courses at Centre help students build a foundation of education knowledge and skills, including pedagogical techniques, cross-cultural communication skills and understanding of policy formation,” she continued.
The minor consists of six main courses that span the breadth of the educational experience. For example, students can take courses such as Educational Psychology, The Autism Puzzle, and Education Policy and Social Change. There are also many exciting CentreTerm classes, including Language Immersion and Rural Education in Costa Rica, Exploring Education and the Environment across the Globe in Ghana, as well as Examining the Mexican Educational System and Teaching ESL Abroad in Merida, Mexico.
Additional classes include Global Perspectives on Education, Education Policy and Social Change, Practicum and Introduction to Education and Educational Psychology.
Three of the courses education minors must take include classroom or other educational-related field experience, with the goal for minors to complete 50 hours in the field. There are a diverse range of local schools from which to choose, including the Kentucky School for the Deaf, Montessori schools and alternative schools. Students can also choose to work in a non-formal education setting, such as the Community Arts Center, public library or YMCA. Many students volunteer through civic organizations like Centre Action Reaches Everyone (C.A.R.E.), Big Brothers Big Sisters and a wealth of other service clubs and organizations at the College that work with children.
Related internships include the John Paul II Academy in Louisville; Sunrise Children’s Services; English Education in an abroad bilingual setting; Experiencing School through the Eyes of a Guidance Counselor, Schools, Teachers, and Classroom Management; Special Education at the Elementary School; Hamilton County and Ohio School District Central Office.
“Our education program builds on a student’s major background to produce educators who know current teaching methods, can reason and make judgments, are flexible and creative, analyze and question reforms, and reflect and solve problems,” Prusinski said. “Centre strives to produce excellent critical thinkers and decision-makers who will be successful in any educational situation, whether a classroom, office setting or nonprofit organization.”
One unique benefit of completing an education minor at Centre includes strong relationships with partner institutions. After graduation, students can earn a master’s degree or complete a certification program at one of the College’s partner schools. Four of the minor courses count toward a master’s degree in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Louisville and three count toward a master’s degree at Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. Students are also well prepared to progress to any graduate school for teaching certification or alternative program, such as Teach For America or Teach Kentucky.
Recent graduates with education minors are involved in such varied pursuits as Master’s of Science in Nursing at Vanderbilt University; teaching assistant while in Florida State’s Ph.D. program for Applied and Computational Mathematics; National Teaching Fellow in AmeriCorps program, Citizen Schools; The New Teacher Project (TNTP) Teaching Fellows in Charlotte, N.C. and Washington, D.C.; and Clinical Mental Health Counseling graduate program, University of Louisville.
Pictured above: A Centre student teaches local children while studying abroad in Mexico
by Elise L. Murrell
February 5, 2016