Education Cohort Model
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Congratulations to the Department of Early Childhood and Middle Grades Education for being selected as the recipient of the 2011 Regents' Teaching Excellence Award for Departments and Programs. >>more



Mentored, Field Based Cohort Model (Education)

Training teachers is at the heart of Georgia College. Since its founding in 1889, Georgia College has prepared students for careers in teaching. Today, though the mission of the university is greatly expanded, the College of Education continues to instill confidence and leadership in future teachers. At the crux of the program is the cohort, a group of no more than 20 students that take classes and assess their teaching experiences together during their junior and senior years. Each cohort is organized around a faculty mentor who works with the students as they chart through nearly 1,000 hours in the "teaching field" prior to student teaching.

"It's unique to Georgia College," says Dr. Nancy Mizelle, chair and professor of early childhood and middle grades education. "Our students take courses together for two years, participate in field experiences together, and each cohort is assigned a professor who serves as a Mentor Leader from start to finish. This provides our candidates an experience that is distinctive – one that does not happen in many, maybe any, other institutions."

Georgia College adopted the cohort model about a decade ago and the record of success is clear.  Almost 100 percent of new graduate are hired in teaching positions, and after five years, almost 95 percent are still in the classroom – far more than the national average!

The Master of Arts in Teaching is consistent with the undergraduate experience. "It's about building confidence and knowledge so that the challenges of today's classroom can be met," says Dr. Brian Mumma, associate professor and coordinator of the MAT program. MAT students work in cohorts splitting their days between field experience and the college class. "It's about gaining more experience and having an immediate way to talk through what it means - to reflect and process - so that you'll be that much more prepared next time," says Mumma.

Georgia College prepares teachers through the innovative cohort model so that they'll be ready to make a difference in the lives of young people in Georgia and around the nation.

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