How Do I Choose an Education School?
Welcome to your new classroom, educator! Because you chose a top education school in Indiana and received top-notch training, you are equipped to teach at your dream school!
Are you an aspiring teacher? Do you want this to be your story? We can help. We’ve assembled an ultimate list of things to help you choose an education school–from what to look for in your college classes, to what to prepare for a class of your own. Read on to learn how to find the perfect education school for your talents, abilities, and future.
As you look for education schools, the first thing you need to consider is the classroom instruction offered. After all, is there a better place to train a teacher than in a high-quality, high-impact classroom? It is essential to learn how to write a lesson plan and understand the psyche of an elementary student in order to be a good teacher. So how do you evaluate whether or not an education school provides classroom excellence?
It’s important to learn about the professors and get to know them on your college visits. Do your research, and take any opportunity you can to sit in on a class to experience it for yourself. Another way to determine if a college’s classroom is effective is by looking at a program’s test scores. Grace College School of Education students have had the highest reading and English language arts content licensure exam scores out of 37 Indiana programs for two years in a row.
“The education classes here at Grace are eye-opening,” Abigail Holmes, a current education student at Grace, said. “They made me realize that there is so much more to being a teacher than I thought, but they have also helped me learn how to handle these things.”
One of Grace’s education students, Corey Smith, was inspired by the quality education he recieved at Grace and started a charter school called Smith Academy for Excellence with his brother and his father after graduation. Grace became the academy’s authorizer, and now Corey is working to provide students with the same classroom excellence that he found at Grace. Read more about Corey’s story here.
Unique Programs and Community Connection
Whether you plan on teaching in your college community or on the other side of the world after graduation, connecting with the kids in your college town will prepare you for your career and help you build meaningful relationships each year. As you are searching for the right education school, ask yourself, what community connections does the school have?
Student-teaching: This should be a major factor when you’re considering education programs. Grace provides opportunities and class requirements for you to teach in local schools as soon as the first semester of your college experience. By graduation, you’ll have completed at least 100 hours of field experience.
After School Clubs: These clubs are a great way to plug into the life of local students outside of the classroom. The Baker Youth Club is an after-school program for elementary students in the Warsaw area. Grace students and professors play a big role in their programs which provide a safe educational space for children to come and enjoy a variety of activities.
Special Education Emphasis
Special Education is an important part of any education department. Whether you want to be a Special-Ed teacher or not, understanding how to work with all kinds of students is an essential part of your training.
One of the Special Education programs at Grace is our student-led chapter of Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) where students learn how to work with students with exceptionalities. The CEC holds an annual conference where numerous Grace students have been awarded in the past. Keep an eye out for CEC chapters as you search for your future college!
Exploration Transition Day is a biennial event hosted by Grace College’s CEC that supports and teaches about Special Education. This event welcomes high-school students with disabilities to learn about post-secondary options. With a keynote speaker and an exhibition, CEC offers an array of opportunities to explore at this exceptional event.
If you want to dive even deeper into Special Education, Grace College started its Intense Intervention Licensure Program in January 2020. This is a 15-hour program for undergraduate students and current educators who have a desire to help fill this nation’s need for Special Education teachers.
Post-Graduate Placement and Connections
Everything else is great, but if your education school doesn’t lead to a job after college, then what was it all for? When you’re looking for colleges, pay attention to the career connections and job placement statistics in your department. When you’re visiting, ask the advisors, professors, and current students about how the college is setting them up for post-grad success. Your senior-self will thank you later.
At Grace, we make a point of being intentional with our career connections. Every class, every program, and every day of student teaching will push you toward the goals you have and the future God has prepared for you. Grace college boasts:
- 100% alumni satisfaction in our Elementary Education program.
- 100% job placement in our Social Studies Education and History program.
Meet a few of our Elementary Education graduates:
- Asia Miles attended Grace for four years, student-taught at Warsaw Community Schools, and graduated in May 2019. She is now full-time teaching middle school art at the International Community School of Bangkok in Bangkok, Thailand where she grew up.
- Sara Niemi, from Fort Wayne, Indiana, graduated in May 2019 after three years at Grace. She student-taught at Eisenhower Elementary School and Madison Elementary School, and is now a full-time kindergarten teacher at Washington STEM Academy.
- Allison Coleman, from Pinehurst, North Carolina, returned to her hometown after three years in Grace’s education department to teach full-time at West Pine Elementary School. While at Grace, she student-taught at Madison Elementary School and Warsaw Christian Elementary School.
Don’t settle on your first find. (Unless you find Grace first, of course!) Explore, research, and visit your options to find the education school that fits you the best. And if you’re still stuck, here are a few other things to look for:
Abroad Programs: Studying abroad is an exciting opportunity for all students to experience the classroom setting from a new corner of the world. Many of our education students have grown in their teaching competency while abroad. Learn about one education student’s time in Korea and how it impacted her education and her future.
Graduation pace: While four years at college may be the perfect pace for you, Grace also offers a three-year program that includes a semester of student teaching.
Strong Christian community: The best way to experience this is to go and visit. Spend the night in a dorm, visit a classroom, and eat at the dining hall. All of this is available to you when you visit Grace.
To get in contact with one of our education department professors, or to learn more, visit www.grace.edu/academics/undergraduate/academic-schools-departments/school-of-education/.