The third cohort of Urban Education interns walked across the stage at the Martha Bigham Auditorium just as the previous cohorts did before them. However, this year was a bit different as just under half of the graduates already had jobs before gracing the stage at Osborne High! Cohort 3 has big shoes to fill as the previous grads have been called “the best first year teachers we have ever hired” by local principals. The celebration began as the OHS JROTC presented the colors and led the audience in the pledge of allegiance. The master of ceremonies…Rose Wichterman, Cohort 2 graduate and Kindergarten teacher at Fair Oaks ES, introduced the graduates as they entered the celebration. Dean Eaton of the College of Education kicked things off by addressing the new grads followed by Cobb County Deputy Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Hungerford and Area 2 Assistant Superintendent Dale Gaddis. Once the speakers concluded their remarks the Fair Oaks Cheer Team and Smitha Step Team stole the show with their performances for the graduates. Madison Denniston, Cecille Ortiz, and Erin Talley concluded the celebration by speaking on behalf of their respective grade levels inspiring them to pursue their teaching goals and dreams.
As the TQP (Teacher Quality Partnership) Grant comes to an end in September 2014 significant changes had to be made to the Urban Education program in order for it to continue thriving and uphold the reputation as the flagship program of the Bagwell College of Education. The Middle and Secondary UE grades program will fold into the traditional programs at the Kennesaw campus effective Fall 2014 (See TQP Leadership Statement). Blocked Foundations will however still be offered for Secondary and Middle Grades majors needing EDUC 2110, 2120, 2130, and INED 3304. The Early Childhood and Elementary program will continue in its current capacity taking the majority of ECE courses offsite at partner schools having a focus on culturally relevant pedagogy, family and community engagement, and language and literacy to improve academic outcomes for urban students.