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Spring Updates from Director

Spring 2010

Teach Grant Applications

I am beginning to receive many more of the federal Teach Grant applications for review and approval from financial aid. For programs like Special Reading and the Drury Alternative Track in Special Education (DATSE), these applications are pretty straight forward if you understand the service obligations and meet the GPA requirements. The main thing you need to know is that if Kelly Doel or I do not know you, or cannot find documentation on your approved plan of study, we will need to talk with you before your application can be approved. This is a great opportunity, providing real support to those going into high need certification areas including math and science. Please consult the Education website at for more information or contact Diana or Rhonda in Financial Aid at Drury.

The Ozarks Teaching Core

I am accepting recommendations from faculty, advisors, and others for candidates for the Ozarks Teaching Core. This very new program sponsored by the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, will provide limited funding to a very few education candidates who are sophomores or juniors and plan to complete their teacher certification programs and return to rural communities to work. The program entails commitments to participate in a number of seminars on rural education, commitments in working in rural schools, and agreeing to a service obligation should funding be granted. We will be forming a committee to review names of those recommended and then making some decisions on who to invite for application shortly after the first of February. Stay tuned for more information on this new program designed to support rural education.

Student Teaching Application Deadline

Remember, that February 1, 2010 is the absolute deadline for applications to my office for those who plan to student teach in fall of 2010. The timeline has changed and we will be making placements much earlier as many of the students will be working in our partner schools as part of the Teacher Education Alliance (TEA) involving Central High School, McGregor Elementary, Boyd Elementary, and Pipkin Middle School. It is also imperative that you keep in mind that you will not be placed unless all criteria for student teaching have been met and you have attempted the relevant Praxis II exam. We will be reviewing applications at the February Teacher Education Council meeting and I suspect that most applications will be approved contingent on the taking of the Praxis prior to receiving a placement. Dr. Bonnie Tabor and Dr. Beth Hargrave will be providing seminars for candidates at key points in the semester prior to scheduled administrations to support and help prepare candidates to do their very best.

EDUC 475

If you are currently in the student teaching semester, and have attempted, but not passed the Praxis II, you were administratively enrolled in EDUC 475. The Students will also be receiving more direct communications from Kelly Doel and the instructors. Times, dates, and locations of the class meetings tied to Praxis preparation for those currently in student teaching are as follows:

Springfield EDUC 475 – Dr. Bonnie Tabor
Every Tuesday beginning January 26 until March 9
4pm-5pm in Lay Hall 306

St. Robert EDUC 475 – Dr. Elisabeth Hargrave
Friday, January 22 at St. Robert at 5pm

Family Care Safety Registry

As you know, the Family Care Safety Registry is now the standard approach we are using for criminal background checks. In undergraduate programs, this is to be completed early, if not before, the EDUC 203/201 course and practicum. All instructors of these classes have received templates of syllabi that have the language to inform students of this process and how to complete the requirement. Please know, that my office will run the registry/background check at key points in the program, beginning with EDUC 201, again with the appropriate methods courses and accompanying practicum, and prior to student teaching. It will be done by my office for all programs everywhere. This has become important as the field experiences and practicum are happening more frequently in the program and with longer durations. We can no longer wait until student teaching or have an inconsistent process for completing the reviews. This will help to insure that our candidates have the appropriate credentials to work in the schools and to represent Drury University well. If you have questions, please contact Kelly Doel or Ferba Lofton at the Springfield office (417) 873-7271.

New Coordinator of Field Experiences

I am pleased to announce that Ms. Ferba Lofton, who is a well-known educator who served as both a teacher and a principal in the Springfield Public Schools has accepted a position as the new Coordinator of Field Experiences for the SECD. Ferba will be working closely with Kelly Doel, Coordinator of Teacher Certification and Post Baccalaureate Advisement as well as Midge McGee at St. Robert on all matters impacting field placements. Ferba can be reached directly at (417) 873-6685.

New Associate Director of SECD

I am also very pleased to announce that Dr. Ed Williamson has accepted an appointment to the position of Associate Director of the SECD. Dr. Williamson’s primary duties will be to work under my direction to insure that the programs offered at the St. Robert campus, and all feeder programs are operating in accord with the established procedures for admit to teacher education, approval for student teaching, providing me with recommendations of adjuncts to help us with our foundational courses and other offerings, and to work directly with me on matters impacting our accreditation through NCATE and state approval of programs by DESE. Dr. Williamson will be reviewing all syllabi of key courses that would impact the performance on the Praxis II to insure that the course assessments provide opportunities for candidates to become more proficient in dealing with these types of questions. We are making plans to offer a new Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) and Dr. Williamson will also be playing an important role in this project as well. Ed will be a great asset to our leadership team and I have all confidence he will do good things on behalf of our education candidates and programs.

I wish each of you the very best in this exciting New Year. Please stay connected to these announcements and postings on the SECD website. There will be many important professional development opportunities occurring and new ways to stay involved with Drury, no matter where you are or what your pathway to certification might be.

Best Wishes,
Christopher J. Craig, Director