SCU Gains Approval for Teacher Education Program

Back row left to right: James Bowen,Adrian Hinkle,Renee Launey-Rodolf (OCTP),Reggies Wenyika, Shelley Groves. Front row left to right: Chet Horn, Angie Bookout (OCTP),Phylis Hadley, Dana Owens-DeLong.

Southwestern Christian University was granted approval to begin three teacher education programs --  English Education, History Education, and Health and Physical Education -- by the Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation. All three degree offerings won unanimous approval by the full commission at their recent meeting earlier this month. This is the next step in the process towards full accreditation which requires student data and an onsite visit in Fall 2015.

SCU will begin offering degree tracts in all three new fields beginning the Fall 2014 semester.
Parents and students can be assured that SCU’s Teacher Education Program will provide a challenging, innovative, and inspiring means of training the mind, the spirit, and the sensitivity, to be a successful teacher, said Dr. Dana Owens-Delong, SCU’s Education Departmental Chair and leader of the committee responsible for the program’s development.

“Our aim is to prepare dedicated teachers who are effective practitioners, caring leaders, and lifelong learners,” Delong said. “We envision our graduates teaching effectively, leading through example and continually learning the art and science of the teaching profession.”

In addition to the extensive field-based teacher education experiences, the new SCU teacher education program model will provide practical, hands-on opportunities for future teachers, including various opportunities to interact with specialists in their fields. Every semester the teacher candidate will spend hours in a K-12 classroom implementing the concepts that have just learned in the university course. It is unique because the K-12 teacher will work with the university professor as co-teachers of the concepts and theories of teaching. All teacher education students will have completed a minimum of 160 hours of field experience before their actual student teaching semester.

“This new approach recognizes the value of the classroom school teacher as a partner in the development and training of new teachers,” Owens-Delong said. “What we hope is to provide a seamless integration so there is not a disconnect between theory and practice for our students,”

In addition to Delong, committee members Phylis Hadley, Chet Horn, Adrian Hinkle, Shelley Groves, Dr. James Bowen, and Dr. Reggies Wenyika worked tirelessly on the program model. The collaborative effort between SCU’s faculty and administration along with public school educators and administration to launch the teacher education program began in January 2013.

“School systems across the world continue to express their high regard for our students,” Dr. Reggies Wenyika Vice President of Academic Affairs and future school President said. “These new programs have enabled us to open doors of opportunity to a newer, wider range of students and graduates alike.”