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Education majors get FEAT dirty

November 9, 2010

By Ali Neese, Staff Writer

Education majors Sabrina McLucas and Christina Feliu enjoy refreshments at a FEAT meeting, a new club for education majors. Photo by Mark Brunner

As everyone at Young Harris College knows, the school is going through a major season of change. From the new logo, to new sports and new majors, it seems like something new is always popping up at YHC. The most recent addition to our campus is the formation of the new education club, known as the Future Educators and Administrators of Tomorrow or FEAT-“like a great thing you accomplish,” said Dr. Sharon Jackson, assistant professor of education.

This is exactly what the club hopes to do. They want to help education majors receive more experience in the field, whether it be “interacting with a panel of administrators or talking about what social problems you might encounter in a school,” Jackson said.

Jackson believes that by having different groups come in that are in the profession and having them work with FEAT, the education majors will greatly benefit in the long run.

While the education faculty does feel that it is important for their students to learn from experienced educators, they also believe that it is vital that the students give back as well. In fact, according to Dr. Jackson, the education students were “adamant that they give back to the community” and the education club is one way that they feel they can accomplish this.

Jackson stressed that although FEAT is still in the planning phases, they are working on ideas to give back to the community, and they hope to hear soon if they have been accepted as a club on campus.

Not only is the education faculty excited about the prospect of this new club, the education majors are as well. Emily Hicks, a middle grades major from Blairsville and president of FEAT, said that she likes the education club because “I think that it allows future teachers to be able to get a glimpse into the field before they are actually there.”

Membership in FEAT is purely voluntary, but it is believed that all education majors will benefit from it.

Not only does the education department have a new club to look forward to, they are also busy making their mark on the community. As part of their curriculum, education majors are observing at Union County and Towns County schools at all age levels.

Dr. Mark Brunner, assistant professor of education, said that the students “really assume the role of a professional” when they’re visiting at the schools.

Each education major is required to complete 10 hours of observation a semester, but they can spend five of those hours in the concentration of their choice. For instance, if a student is interested in teaching middle grades, he or she can spend five of their observation hours in a middle school, and then divide the rest of their time between elementary and high schools.

Depending on what the teacher wants, an education major can either observe when they go to a school or they might even have the opportunity to interact with the students.

Criminal background checks are  required before going to a school, as well as liability insurance in case something happens while on a visit.

The education department hopes to further their  opportunities beyond Union and Towns counties. The department will also learn in the spring if they are being approved for their seven new majors, which are early childhood, middle grades, history, science, math, English and music education.

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