Campbell University was selected as one of four new institutions to participate in the North Carolina Teaching Fellows program, joining 13 public and four other private institutions across the state. Dr. Karen Nery, dean of Campbell's School of Education, said the announcement represents a major accomplishment for an already outstanding Teacher Education program. "Campbell's Teacher Education program has been recognized as having one of the highest teacher retention rates in the state," Nery said. "We have 388 Campbell graduates teaching in Harnett County alone and one of the highest performance rankings of individuals employed in North Carolina Public Schools. The fact that we are now being included in such an elite group (North Carolina Teaching Fellows) is a real milestone for our program." The North Carolina Teaching Fellows Program is designed to attract high caliber students into the teaching profession, according to Susan M. Burgess, chair of the North Carolina Teaching Fellows Commission. Funded by the General Assembly since 1986, the program awards $6,500 per year for four years to students who will major in education and agree to teach at least four years in a North Carolina public school. The qualifications for becoming a Teaching Fellow are stringent, so are the qualifications for hosting a Teaching Fellows Program Nery said. To be selected for a North Carolina Teaching Fellows Program, a university must provide pre-term programs designed to acclimate students before and during freshman year on matters such as money and time management, academic integrity, stress management and other issues. It must provide unique activities that expose students to cultural, multicultural, economic, political and educational issues and initiate programs in which Fellows can develop their own individual leadership potential. It must provide opportunities for Fellows to be exposed to leaders on campus and in the community who can serve as role models. Additionally, the host university must develop administrative or teaching internships and tutoring observation opportunities in the public schools, provide a system that will detect possible dropouts and forewarn parents of students who might be considering leaving the program and follow up with those who have withdrawn to determine the reasons for withdrawal. Finally, the university must match the $6,500 annually provided by the state for each Fellow. "The Teaching Fellows program affects the whole campus," Nery said, "from the general college curriculum to housing, financial aid and enrichment programs like Study Abroad." A minimum of 15 students per year are required to participate in the Teaching Fellows program, but Nery said Campbell's goal is 25 students per year. The Campbell Teaching Fellows Program is scheduled to be up and running by fall 2007. Dr. Carolyn Maidon, assistant professor of education, helped develop the proposal that procured the Teaching Fellows Program for Campbell. She credits components such as a required leadership series featuring seminars and experiential opportunities, a study abroad program in Costa Rica the first year and the extensive availability of merit scholarships as some of the Campbell program's greatest strengths. "We are blessed to have a strong endowment for scholarships, as well as cooperation and cohesive leadership across campus and the curriculum," Maidon said. Maidon, who was director of teacher education at North Carolina State University before coming to Campbell, also serves as the coordinator of grants and the graduate curriculum and instruction for the Master of Education in elementary education and Interdisciplinary Studies. "Our Teacher Education program seems to attract students from rural eastern North Carolina," Nery said. "We're really focused on this end of the state in placing and retaining teachers here. The Teaching Fellows program attracts the best and the brightest students in North Carolina, and we're excited to be able to offer an exceptional program that will also help us continue to achieve this goal." Established in 1985, the Campbell University School of Education offers teacher education licensure in elementary education, middle grades language arts, social studies, math, English, mathematics, biology, comprehensive social studies, music, physical education, French, Spanish, Family and Consumer Sciences and Birth to Kindergarten. Graduate programs are offered in elementary education, middle grades language arts, middle grades social studies, English, mathematics, comprehensive social studies, physical education, school counselor and school administration.
Photo Copy: Drs. Karen Nery and Carolyn Maidon display the letter of selection from the state of North Carolina designating Campbell as a host university for the North Carolina Teaching Fellows Program. Nery is dean of the Campbell University School of Education and Maidon is assistant professor of education and coordinator of grants and graduate curriculum and instruction for the Master of Education in elementary education and Interdisciplinary Studies. (Photo by Shannon Ryals)