Editor’s note, Nov. 5, 9:50 a.m.: This story has been updated throughout.
The information session on the Simmons masters in education program Tuesday evening drew two prospective graduate students, both hopeful in finding teaching careers in the state of Texas.
“Now I’m at the age where I know it is definitely what I want,” said Rafael Perez a prospective Simmons graduate student.
The scarce attendance did not concern the advisors or department heads. Graduate recruitment events such as these often do not draw as many people as expected, Chair of the Department of Teaching and Learning Paige Ware said. However this is not a cause for a concern. This event is only a small stepping-stone offered along the pathway to teaching that SMU offers.
The school offers a 15-monthlong masters in education program for those like Perez, who discover their desire to teach later in life.
“People have that idea in the back of their head, then they think ‘now it’s time to do something with it,’…we get women with children, people out of the military, people who want to teach overseas… we even get a couple of lawyers” said Kay Kuner, advisor for masters program.
The education department caters to all kinds of prospective teachers, undergraduates included. According to Ware, there are about 460 students enrolled in the teaching and learning department, and around 80 are undergraduates. The program was recently changed from a minor program to a supplementary major to offer a unique undergraduate degree program for those who may want to explore that desire while still in college.
“We have a 100 percent job placement for all of our graduates and a 99 percent pass rate on the State Board for Educator Certification exam,” said Ware. With results like these, the school hopes to continue the growth of their program with both graduate and undergraduate students. This should not be a problem with the opening of their new building later this year, which will feature a larger space and high-tech teaching labs.
For more information on the Simmons School of Education and Human Development and the Department of Teaching and Learning, please visit them online.