College molds Education school

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Georgia Gwinnett College is working closely with the state's largest public school system to develop its School of Education programs, said Cathy Moore, the school's charter dean.

Classroom teachers, principals, area superintendents and central office personnel from Gwinnett County Public Schools serve on an advisory board for the new college's School of Education, Moore said.

"They help give us input about what new classroom teachers need to learn and do," Moore said.

As a result, Georgia Gwinnett College is taking an integrated approach in developing the curriculum for its teacher education programs.

"One of the things (the advisory board) told us was to quit thinking so much about the curriculum in isolation," Moore said.

Georgia Gwinnett College will be teaching its students strategies for curriculum integration, such as teaching writing while teaching math. The college will focus on helping its students address the needs of all learners, including English language learners and students with special needs.

The advisory board also suggested the college ensure its students are proficient in the content areas they would like to teach. Moore said Georgia Gwinnett is considering having some of its faculty members team teach courses -- having, for example, an English professor teach the content and a School of Education faculty member teach the pedagogy.

Education students will also be involved in extensive field experiences, Moore said.

Georgia Gwinnett College, which opened in 2006 in Lawrenceville, will offer degrees in early childhood education and special education as well as teacher certification tracks in math, English, history and political science, pending approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The college has also added a teacher certification track to its existing biology program.

The college, which is accredited by SACS, hopes to begin offering junior-level education courses in January.