Students from the Alamance-Burlington school system are working with teachers enrolled in the Master of Education program this summer as part of Elon’s Summer Learning and Enrichment Academy. Details...
The program runs from June 19-Aug. 4 and is designed to give teachers who are earning their master’s degrees in special education at Elon the chance to work in a classroom setting with elementary and middle grades students. This is the fifth year Elon has hosted the academy, which focuses on enriching the learning experience for special education students. The teachers fulfill the internship component required for earning the degree by teaching in the academy.
Each day from 8:30-11:30 a.m., teachers work with approximately 35 students in small groups on learning topics such as reading, writing and math. Stacy Noell, who serves as academy director, says each teacher has written a research paper on a new or unique way to present material to students. The teachers are using these new methods during the summer academy and evaluating their effectiveness in the classroom. The teachers receive extensive feedback on their work throughout the summer program.
The theme for this year’s academy is “Camp Learn-a-Lot,” and students attend sessions in Mooney building classrooms that have been given names such as the Fox Den and the Eagles Nest. In addition to two, 50-minute learning sessions each morning, students also receive lessons in social skills and take part in a physical activity.
This is the fourth cohort of M.Ed. students to complete their degrees during Elon’s summer graduate program. They will receive their degrees in August.
“The major goal of the academy from our perspective,” says Judith Howard, director of the M.Ed. program, “is to give M.Ed. students majoring in special education an opportunity to create an optimal learning environment. They use the skills they have learned in their coursework for the past two years to work with students who have learning difficulties, and they do an incredible job! We also are very pleased that this gives us an opportunity to collaborate with other agencies in a major community effort.”
Local agencies and organizations that are lending expertise and support to the academy include:
- Alamance-Caswell Community Collaborative
- Alamance-Burlington School System
- Elon University
- Burlington Police Department
- The Mayor’s Council on Disabilities
- Sertoma Club
- Alamance County Service League