Welcome from the Dean
Welcome to Shorter University’s School of Education. I am glad you have chosen to spend your time learning more about our education program offerings. The education faculty and staff are honored to be part of a Christian institution whose mission is to transform lives through Christ.
Shorter Graduates Speak about the Teacher Preparation Program
“We had the amazing opportunity to Skype with Seaworld. It was an experience that the children will remember forever. We got to ask questions, watch an educational session with the whales and talk to the trainers…Shorter has made me the teacher I am today and I’m thankful for people like you who continue to inspire and encourage.”
Adam Woodman, Early Childhood Teacher
“I absolutely love my career choice. Starting my third year in the classroom, I credit my preparedness and confidence in this field to my exceptional professors and classes at Shorter. I have not once felt unequipped to handle whatever has been thrown at me because of the affirmation I received while at Shorter that this truly is my calling.
Thank you for being a school that encourages teachers to make lasting impressions and impacts on students as opposed to simply teaching content. I have been and continue to be blessed by my time at Shorter.”
Kelsey Kirk, High School Teacher
Reflecting the mission of Shorter, the Conceptual Framework of the School of Education establishes the foundation upon which Shorter prepares teachers to think Learners First. Our mission is to provide exemplary classroom and field experiences for its teacher candidates so that they may become successful teachers dedicated to life-long learning, personal growth, collaborative effort, responsible citizenship, and community leadership in a global context. Upon successful completion of the program, Shorter graduates are expected to possess content, pedagogical, and curricular knowledge, but more importantly, it is expected Shorter graduates will demonstrate the professional dispositions to be caring professionals who are concerned for the needs of others, and able to assist others effectively in the learning process.
As our mission is accomplished, our vision is met. Our vision is to continue what the program has done so successfully over the years which is:
- to keep the needs of others uppermost,
- to adapt to change and help others make the desirable transitions,
- to uphold high standards of scholarship and professionalism,
- to model cultural diversity and global awareness, and
- to foster cooperation and collaboration in order to accomplish shared goals.
Shorter University’s School of Education offers seven preparation programs for initial teaching certification. Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Early Childhood Education, Initial Certification, Pre-K -5th grade
Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Special Education General Curriculum and Early Childhood Education, Initial Certification, Pre-K -5th grade
Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Middle Grades Education, Initial Certification, Grades 4-8 Two of Four Content Areas Chosen: language arts, mathematics, social studies, and/or science
Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts (B.S. or B.A., dependent upon content area), Secondary History or Math Education, Initial Certification, Grades 6-12, One Content Area Chosen: Mathematics or History
Bachelor of Music Education (B.M.E), Initial Certification, P-12
The Post-Baccalaureate (certification only) programs provide individuals who hold an earned bachelor’s or higher degree, the skills, knowledge, and experience needed to begin a successful career as a teacher in one of the following fields:
- Early Childhood Education (Pre-K-5th Grade)
- Special Education General Curriculum and Early Childhood Education (Pre-K-5th)
- History (6-12)
- Mathematics (6-12)
- Middle Grades Education (4-8)
- and Music Education (P-12)
Students seeking certification in one of these programs must demonstrate a sound knowledge of the discipline and an understanding of learning.
Please note the following regarding our certification-only programs.
- Courses are currently taught on ground in Rome, GA
- Courses are taken with our traditional undergraduates
- It is necessary for students to be available during the public school day as well as late afternoon/evening for specified classes during certain semesters
- Our curriculum is in a cohort model. Students take a set of education courses and are in schools during specified times.
- All courses except for EDU 2000, 2110 and 2950 are offered only once a year
- Credit might be given for previously taken education courses, but this is dependent on content covered, the grade earned, the year the credit was earned, and where the course was taken. In general, Middle Grade and Secondary Ed students must take every course on the right side of an education sequence sheet. Curriculum requires the equivalent of a major in the discipline. Links to sequence sheets are above.
- Clinical Practice (student teaching) is an entire semester and is the last course taken. Post-bac students must adhere to the same Teacher Preparation Program requirements as traditional undergraduates. In addition, post-bac students must pass their related GACE Test I and Test II prior to being admitted to the Teacher Preparation Program. Requirements beyond coursework are based on the latest accreditation rules, regulations and standards. Subsequently, they are revised as necessary. In addition, the state has implemented a new certification system in Georgia, and once students graduate and meet all the requirements, a “Certificate of Eligibility” may be earned from the state. It is after graduates have been hired by a public school in the state of Georgia that an Induction certificate may be issued.
- Per GaPSC rule, individuals must meet current preparation requirements. Therefore, additional coursework and/or repetition of coursework may be necessary including, but not limited to, any coursework more than five years old.
School of Education students experience living history by partnering with Chieftains Museum
March 21, 2018 – Shorter University School of Education students received real world experience by volunteering to supervise a field trip of 1st-3rd grade students to Chieftains Museum in Rome. As part of an ongoing partnership between the SOE and the museum, Abigail Kiser, Regina Evans, Nancy Flores, Cherry Sullivan, McKenna Massengill, and Charlie Elliott led students through a series of activities focused on history, literacy, and archaeology.
I really enjoy getting a chance to work with students outside of the classroom,” said junior Regina Evans. “It gives me the opportunity to remember why I want to become a teacher. Plus, the experience prepares me for my own class while on field trips.”
The innovative and interactive teaching techniques developed by museum director Heather Shores and her staff at Chieftains Museum have provided the opportunity for several groups of SOE students to experience field trips from the perspective of the provider over the past year. The partnership has proven to be highly effective for both sides, as the museum receives experienced supervision and labor, and SOE students receive a valuable opportunity to work closely with students and teachers in a setting outside the classroom.
“I am thankful for Heather, Kamil, and Roy at Chieftains Museum for providing us with the opportunity to see the work and worry required to provide a meaningful historical experience,” said Dr. Gary Cole, professor of education and organizer of the partnership. “Our students gain valuable insights and experience education in a new and meaningful way here at Chieftains.”
Shorter University Education Majors Make Science Learning Fun
March 22, 2018 – Students in Shorter University’s Science Education course got to put their lessons into practice by taking part in the recent STEM Night at Pepperell Primary School. The evening event offered hands-on experiences designed to help the primary school students gain knowledge in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Shorter education majors taking part in STEM Night included Madalene Brackett, Casei Burkhalter, Kristen Cowart, Emily Crane, Emily Duggan, Sara Harper, Emily Ketchum, Allie Meers, Katie-Brooke Ross, and Shannon Weekley.
Pairs of education majors had created a number of educational stations including ones where students learned about polymers while making their own slime, played with Moon Sand while learning about the solar system, and heard the story of Freddie the Fish as he suffered from the effects of pollution. Another station used shaving cream and dyed water to illustrate how much rain clouds can hold, while the final station encouraged students to take a polar plunge by placing one hand in ice water and the other hand inside “blubber” simulated by vegetable shortening in a plastic baggie.
“Education majors spend hundreds of hours working with children in a variety of settings,” said Dr. Phil Larsen, assistant professor of early childhood education at Shorter and the instructor for the Science Education course in Shorter’s School of Education. “Our early childhood education majors were happy to share their science activities with the students at Pepperell Primary School. By the end of the evening, the teachers from Pepperell were also participating so they could use the activities in their own classrooms.”
Shorter University Students Inducted into Education Honor Society
March 20, 2018 – Fifteen education majors at Shorter University were recently inducted into the Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education.
The 2018 inductees were: Madalene Brackett, Casei Burkhalter, Kristen Cowart, Erin Dallman, Emily Duggan, Sydney Holmes, Madison Hunt, Abigail Kiser, Cheyenne Lawson, McKenna Massengale, Emily Preston, Katie-Brooke Ross, Emily Tyler, Remel Williams, and Shannon Weekley.
Mrs. Julia Houston, assistant professor of early childhood education, director of early childhood education, and adviser to Shorter’s Kappa Delta Pi chapter, welcomed guests to the ceremony. Dr. Phillip Larsen, assistant professor of early childhood education, offered the invocation.
The teacher candidates were inducted by Taylor Britt, a senior education major who serves as president of Shorter’s Kappa Delta Pi chapter.
During the ceremony, Dr. Norma Harper, dean of Shorter’s School of Education, presented honor cords to the following seniors who are members of Kappa Delta Pi. They were Taylor Britt, Jordan Burkett, Brianna Castleman, Krystin Clinton, Hannah Draper, Tiffani Estep, Kaitlyn Little, Sydney Oden, and Abi Valdes.
The featured speaker at the induction ceremony was Mr. Jason Coffman, Floyd County’s 2017-18 Teacher of the Year. Mr. Coffman, a teacher at Armuchee Elementary School, encouraged the students to remember the influence they can have on students’ lives.
“I try my best to show Christ through me every day,” he said. “Hopefully that’s your prayer as well. If I can step up and be that role model for (a student), then that’s what God called me to do.”
He recalled the influence his third-grade teacher had on him as a young boy. “She called our class a family, and she meant it,” he said. “She had the most positive influence. I didn’t know then that what I was seeing in her was the love of Christ just flowing out of her.
“As you become a teacher, pray every day for yourself, for your coworkers, and for your students. Your impact can last for years and years. Be positive. Be a light in your school.”
Kappa Delta Pi has an initiated membership that exceeds 1.2 million individuals. The organization’s vision is to help committed educators be leaders in improving education for global citizenship.
Shorter University Education Major Receives Floyd-Rome Retired Educators Association Scholarship
News release by Public Relations Intern Cecil Robinson
March 2, 2018 – Shorter University junior Casei Burkhalter has been selected to receive a $700 scholarship presented by the Floyd-Rome Retired Educators Association.
She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Special Education and Early Childhood Education at Shorter University, which leads to dual certification to teach at the Pre-K to 5th grade level.
For Burkhalter, this scholarship means more than not having to worry about securing financial stability. She entered Shorter in 2011 but decided to take some time to work and start a family. She returned to Shorter to major in education.
“As a wife, mother and student, there are times where I question whether I am on the right path and whether I am following [God’s] path, but time after time He sends me signs that I am right where I need to be,” said Burkhalter.
After receiving the email from her education professor that she had been selected as a recipient by the scholarship committee, she felt as though a weight had been lifted off of her.
“This was a reminder from God that I needed to stop being anxious and know that the path that He set in front of me was indeed the path for me,” said Burkhalter.
An aspiring educator, Burkhalter believes that with her dual certification she can reach more students. She said providing students an inclusive environment and the opportunity for one-on-one attention helps students find their purpose and from that their passion within their purpose.
“My middle daughter, Chloe, who suffers from a speech and language problem, led me to pursue a dual certification because I feel that giving children their one-on-one attention helps them aspire to who they want to be,” said Burkhalter.
Each year, the Floyd-Rome Retired Educators Association presents scholarships to students who exemplify exceptional skills in the field of education and who study at Shorter University and both Berry and Georgia Highlands colleges. This year’s scholarships will be presented at a luncheon hosted by the Floyd-Rome Retired Educators Association in April.
Shorter University Education Professor Speaks at National edTPA Conference
News release by Public Relations Intern Rachael Minard
February 6, 2018 – Julia Houston, assistant professor of early childhood education and edTPA coordinator for Shorter University’s School of Education, recently presented at the National edTPA Implementation Conference. Mrs. Houston topic was “edTPA and the Professional Learning Plan (PLP),” and her presentation was part of a roundtable discussion. She discussed the PLP as part of Georgia’s new teacher induction plan.
The conference, held in San Jose, Calif, highlighted relevant issues in education and how educators can address them. National speakers featured at the event included Linda Darling-Hammond, president and CEO of the Learning Policy Institute; Charles E. Ducommon, president of Education Emeritus at Stanford University; and Dr. Rick Stiggins, founder of the Assessment Training Institute, who spoke on assessment literacy being the foundation of truly effective schools.
edTPA is a performance-based assessment and support system used by teacher preparation programs in 40 states “to emphasize, measure and support the skills and knowledge that all teachers need from Day 1 in the classroom,” according to the edTPA website. Through edTPA, all Georgia teachers have to write and implement a professional learning plan including goals written in order to improve classroom instruction, Mrs. Houston explained.
“Teacher candidates looking for certification in Georgia are required to pass edTPA with a specific score,” she added. Shorter’s School of Education has a 100 percent first-time submission pass rate on edTPA in all of its education programs.
Mrs. Houston said that she and other education faculty members use teacher candidates’ edTPA scores to determine areas in need of improvement and then guide the teacher candidates in using that information a basis for completing a Professional Learning Plan before they graduate.
In regard to the effectiveness of the professional learning plan, Mrs. Houston said, “As with any type of document, the value lies in the user. The PLP provides teachers an opportunity to evaluate their own strengths and areas of need and to write a targeted plan that will allow them to set their own goals for growth as a teacher. I absolutely see that as a positive.”
The national edTPA conference was open to all educators seeking to network within a learning community of fellow teachers in order to deepen their understand of edTPA and to discuss issues regarding it.
“The opportunity to interact with other educators across the country is always a valuable experience,” Houston said. “We were able to share our journey, struggles, and successes with edTPA! It is sometimes confirmation that we are moving in a positive direction with teacher preparation and also developing new ideas and strategies for working with our teacher candidates in preparing them for success on the edTPA.”
In addition to the roundtable presentation at the national conference, Mrs. Houston also made a presentation on the Professional Learning Plan at a conference in Macon. That presentation focused on the development of the Professional Learning Plan.
Shorter University Education Majors Receive Competitive Scholarships
November 10, 2017 – Two students in Shorter University’s School of Education have been selected to receive scholarships from outside organizations in recognition of their educational achievements.
Regina Evans, a senior middle grades education major from Rome, was recently awarded a scholarship from the Luke Milam Foundation. Mr. Milam was killed in action in 2007 in Afghanistan. Applicants are required to have a family member in the same unit, submit an application, and complete a 1,000-word essay on what Luke Milam’s sacrifice means to the applicant. Miss Evan’s mother, Mrs. Davina Evans, is currently serving our country as a Major in the Marine Corps.
Kaitlyn Little, a special education/early childhood education major from Rome, has been selected to receive a scholarship from the Fidelis Beta Chapter of Alpha Delta Kappa, an honorary sorority for women in education. The scholarship will be presented at the Alpha Delta Kappa Christmas luncheon on Dec. 6.
News release by student writer Joshua Fenner
Shorter University Boasts a 100% First-Time Submission Pass Rate on edTPA in All Education Programs
July 12, 2017 – edTPA Coordinator and Assistant Professor Julia Houston credits Shorter’s rigorous Christ-centered education programs and the hard work of Shorter’s teacher candidates and faculty for the outstanding success of the candidates on edTPA.
As requirements for earning a state teaching certificate in the state of Georgia become more rigorous for teacher candidates, Shorter teacher candidates are excelling in their field. One such requirement is a performance-based portfolio, edTPA, that is submitted by candidates for national scoring during student teaching. After two years of consequential implementation, all Shorter University student teachers submitting the edTPA portfolio have, on their initial submission, exceeded the passing scores set by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC).
Shorter candidates complete this difficult task along with all the regular requirements for student teaching, often foregoing extra-curricular activities and sleep to meet deadlines. One candidate stated that “When you’re going through it, you feel like you’re dying… but you’ll be surprised how much it shapes you as an effective educator in the end.” In 2017-2018, the state passing score increases; however, scores of all Shorter candidates for the past two academic years have exceeded the new higher passing score.
Dr. Norma Harper Participates in Floyd County’s College and Career Academy Future Educators Statewide Signing Day
July 12, 2017 – Gracie Arrington and Abigail Talley participate in statewide signing day for future educators. Dr. Harper, Dean of the School of Education, is excited as both students commit to attend Shorter University in the fall majoring in education.
On May 17, 2017, Dr. Harper had the privilege of participating in Future Educator’s statewide signing day as two Floyd County College and Career Academy seniors committed to study education at Shorter University. The seniors, Gracie Arrington and Abigail Talley, will begin Shorter University in FALL 2017 with Ms. Arrington majoring in Early Childhood/Special Ed and Ms. Talley majoring in Early Childhood. Both earned credit for Shorter’s EDU 2110 Investigating Critical and Contemporary Issues in Education course through successfully completing the high school Teaching as a Profession pathway and associated exam.
Dr. Norma Harper Elected Treasurer of GAICTE, Georgia Association of Independent Colleges of Teacher Education
July 12, 2017 – Dr. Norma Harper was recently elected to serve as the treasurer of GAICTE, the statewide Georgia Association of Independent Colleges of Teacher Education. Among other commitments, GAICTE is committed to preparing exemplary teachers, promoting excelling in teacher preparation, and assisting all teacher educators in development and implementation of best practices. (GAICTE Website)
Shorter University is an active member of GAICTE with School of Education representatives attending planned meetings throughout the year. Dr. Harper, Dean of the School of Education, will serve as treasurer for the 2017-2018 academic year.
Shorter University Senior Education Major Receives PAGE Foundation Scholarship
July 5, 2017 – Sydney Oden, a senior early childhood education major at Shorter University, is one of two education majors in Georgia selected to receive the 2017 S. Marvin Griffin Scholarship from the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE) Foundation.
The competitive $1,000 scholarship is awarded by PAGE to rising senior education majors not yet employed by a school or system.
“We are proud of Sydney Oden for being selected to receive this highly competitive scholarship,” said Dr. Dana King, assistant professor of education at Shorter University. “Miss Oden puts forth 100 percent effort. She has a commitment to excellence, which is vital in the field of education. She is a self-starter and can easily work alone; however, she collaborates naturally.”
“Miss Oden is dedicated to the field of teaching,” Dr. King added. “It is evident that she feels this is her calling in life. She does not shy away from the challenges accompanying the role. She clarifies the expectations and dives in.”
A native of Acworth, Ga., Oden is a member of Shorter’s chapter of the Alpha Chi national honor society and the Delta Kappa Pi education honor society.
Middle Grades Teacher Candidates Meet Virtually with a Wisconsin Teacher to Discuss Problem Based Learning in STEM Classes
June 8, 2016 – Teacher candidates in Mr. Thomas’ EDU 3410 STEM and Project Based Instruction in the Middle Grades course took advantage of the classroom technology Shorter provides to “meet” with classroom teacher, Sherrie Nackel. Ms. Nackel uses problem solving and math workshop to teach 7th graders at Forrest Park Middle School in Franklin, Wisconsin. Candidates researched the topic to prepare for the meeting and through active dialogue saw how Ms. Nackel implemented this powerful approach to teaching mathematics. Candidate Kristen Causey noticed the power of the model commenting, “I really enjoyed getting to learn how Mrs. Nackel incorporates workshop into her classroom. It’s amazing how engaged the students are with the content because of the workshops.”
Mr. Thomas became of aware of Ms. Nackel’s work by communicating with her via Twitter and reading her blog. She enthusiastically accepted the offer to meet virtually with the class. The meeting supplemented the classwork led by Mr. Thomas to demonstrate to the candidates how problem based instruction and math workshop can lead to students gaining a deep understanding of their content.
“The Google hangout meeting with Mrs. Nackel was extremely beneficial to the teacher candidates, said Thomas. “They were all able to see the content of one of our textbooks come to life because it was being done successfully in a classroom. The candidates also saw how this idea can be implemented in other contexts. Not every candidate has a math focus, so they were able to apply this model to their other subjects, which will help them in their careers one day.”
Candidate Bailey Wheeler agreed, “Having the opportunity to talk with Ms. Nackel positively impacted my views on a workshop model in the classroom. I feel very confident that the workshop model can be applicable in all content areas and will increase student engagement and performance.”
Laura Whitlow, a Secondary Mathematics Teacher Candidate said, “Our Google Hangout with Mrs. Nackle was so neat! We learned so much about what math workshop looks like in a real classroom, and I think that our discussion really helped confirm/validate the things we have been learning as a class all semester!”
In summary, candidate Methany Thornton emphasized how she will use what she learned in the real world, “Mrs. Nackel is a rock star of organization. I am excited to implement the workshop model and a replica of her blog in my ELA classroom. The Friday letters are a great way to get feedback from students.”
Dr. Tasha Perkins Appointed Secretary of GADA, Georgia Assessment Directors Association
June 8, 2016 – Dr. Tasha Perkins was recently appointed to serve as secretary of GADA, the statewide Georgia Assessment Directors Association for Education Preparation Providers. GADA is committed to providing opportunities for assessment directors to discuss and improve assessment practices in their institutions and throughout higher education in the state of Georgia.
Dr. Perkins will serve as a GADA officer for two years, continuing also to represent Shorter University as a voting member of GADA. She is also currently serving on a GADA committee as a researcher to study how to assess teacher candidates’ dispositions.
For information regarding TRADITIONAL UNDERGRADUATE DEGREES and POST-BACCALAUREATE PROGRAMS offered on the Rome campus, please call 706-252-8086.