After a successful first year, Donna Bennett expects to see twice as many students this fall enrolled in Georgia State University’s early childhood education program in Alpharetta.
Bennett, the program’s coordinator, said there are currently 14 students with more on the way.
“We’ll be adding the second cohort of students in the fall,” she said. “We hope to have about 30 more students.”
The bachelor’s degree program, which began last fall at the Alpharetta campus, mirrors the program offered at the university’s main campus in Atlanta. Students spend about half the week in the classroom learning how to educate children at the elementary school level, and the other half of the week in schools.
“While we’re teaching in the classroom about what’s appropriate … they go out during the week and they’re practicing some of those same things we’re talking about in the classroom and they’re working side-by-side with experienced teachers,” Bennett said. “It’s a very rigorous program.”
The two-year degree has attracted students from various backgrounds and ages, which Bennett said is “one of the things, I think, that makes our program so strong.”
The 45,000-square-foot facility in Alpharetta was already home to the university’s business school, making it an ideal location for the education program, said Carla Tanguay, coordinator of undergraduate programs in early childhood education.
“With this degree program offering at Alpharetta, we can be accessible to more students and meet the state goal of producing more high quality, highly effective teachers,” she said.
The new campus allows those in north Fulton and Forsyth counties the chance to get the same education as other GSU students, without having to drive into Atlanta.
“It’s very convenient to Forsyth,” Bennett said. “And when they come out of the program, they’re ready to teach.”
The university is still accepting applications for the Alpharetta bachelor of science in early childhood education program through July 8.
For more information or to apply, call (404) 413-2200, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://education.gsu.edu.