In the Community
The School of Education is strongly committed to serving the needs of children, families and educational organizations within our region. The field of education rests on a deep understanding of theory and research combined with the application of educational practice in real classroom and community settings. Our students and faculty are actively engaged in a variety of projects that enhance children's learning, and strengthen their families and communities. Some examples follow:
For six weeks each semester, elementary- and middle school students from the Ford School in Lynn come to the Salem State campus to participate in after-school computer, art and wellness clubs in addition to a nutrition education program. The clubs are led by Salem State education, computer science, art, and sport and movement science students, who are advised by faculty in those areas. The program is so old that there are undergraduate students at Salem State who were first introduced to the campus as elementary school FASST students themselves!
This project allows faculty to spend substantial time in the schools on projects that benefit their own professional development while assisting the school community. In one example, a professor who teaches courses in literacy education worked with a charter school teacher and her class every Wednesday on a multi-disciplinary project studying the connection between their community and slavery and abolitionism in the 19th century. The professor and one of her Salem State education students are now helping the children publish a brochure for their local library and town offices. As part of the project, the class came to Salem State for a specially arranged presentation on American history by another faculty member.
Annual "Best Practices in Education" Conference
Each fall, with the assistance of student helpers and in collaboration with our alumni Friends of Education, the Center for Education and Community hosts a day-long "Best Practices in Education" conference for working educators. The conference planning committee includes students, faculty and alumni.
School of Education faculty and administrators have assisted educators from numerous schools in our region with grant development and projects to improve programming in their districts. As an example, we helped staff of the Salem public schools secure a grant to build a program for advanced learners, and then provided a graduate course and follow-up consultation for twenty teachers.
School of Education students and faculty regularly contribute their time and energy to programs and projects in our local schools. Elementary education students and a science education faculty member have organized an Elementary Science Night in the Salem public schools, while an early childhood education faculty member reads to local schoolchildren from her "Global Education Bookshelf." Students from our honors society, Pi Lambda Theta, have run a book fair on campus and donated the proceedings to schools in need.
Professional Development for Area Educators
Our commitment to education does not end with the initial preparation of new teachers. We continue to provide high-quality professional development and consultation assistance to our graduates and other working educators in the region through our Center for Education and Community. For example, the School of Education sends workshop instructors to Revere's Garfield Middle School as part of their Expanded Learning Time grant. The workshops address ways to support English language learners, understand mental illness in children, motivate uninvolved students, and improve content-area reading skills.
Community Education Internships
Education students who want to supplement their teacher preparation programs or who want a career in education outside the boundaries of traditional schools may use the fieldwork requirement to apply their knowledge and skills in non-formal educational settings. Students have completed internships in museums, agencies, after-school programs, and with adult learners through this program, and have gone on to careers in child advocacy, and at residential care centers, community organizations and publishing houses.
Collaborative Educator Preparation Programs
The School of Education works with school districts to provide programs that ensure their professional staff is highly qualified, knowledgeable and licensed. The Institute for Leadership Education (TILE), for example, is a CAGS (Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study) program that asks districts to identify teachers who show promise as educational leaders. TILE then prepares them to be school principals. We have also partnered with consortia of schools and districts to offer licensure programs in the high-need fields of math, special education and reading.