The Education Department has partnered with many community stakeholders to ensure the quality of the teacher preparation program. These partners provide valuable perspectives that enrich our pre-service teachers’ experiences on campus and in the field.
SVPEC was created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1992. The Consortium serves sixteen school divisions in Southwest Virginia in the Counties of Bland, Buchanan, Carroll, Dickenson, Grayson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise, and Wythe, and the Cities of Bristol, Galax, and Norton. The governing board of the Consortium consists of the school superintendents of the named localities; the chancellor or designee of the University of Virginia’s College at Wise; the presidents or their designees of Emory & Henry College, Bluefield College, Mountain Empire Community College, Virginia Highlands Community College, Southwest Virginia Community College, and Wytheville Community College; and the Director of the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center. The region’s legislators shall serve as nonvoting, advisory members of the board.
As a partner in the Southwest Virginia Public Consortium, Emory & Henry College is a major provider of staff development for public school teachers in our region through specialized programs, courses, graduate programs, secured grants, and other endeavors that support PK-12 education in Southwest Virginia. Programming is created to serve the school districts of Bland County, Bristol City, Carroll County, Galax City, Grayson County, Smyth County, Washington County, and Wythe County.
All teacher preparation students have at least one of their observation field experiences in BVPS as the school division provides teacher preparation students with a diverse field experience in which pre-service teachers are able to observe and engage in a city school system. All candidates visit Virginia Middle School during their professional semester for hands-on technology training with faculty and staff. BVPS is also represented on the Teacher Preparation Advisory Committee (TPAC) in order to advise the Education Department.
Smyth County Public Schools is a rural county that also is home to Emory & Henry College’s Health Sciences campus. Smyth County provides a variety of field placements for teacher preparation students. All teacher preparation students provide service-learning during their observations with pre-school students at Chilhowie Elementary School as part of their Human Growth and Development course work. SCPS is also represented on the Teacher Preparation Advisory Committee (TPAC) in order to advise the Education Department.
Emory & Henry College’s main campus is located in Washington County, Virginia, and is home to the largest number of Emory & Henry teacher preparation alumni. Washington County Public Schools also provides numerous field placements for our pre-service teachers. All students enrolled in The Teaching of Reading and Language Arts provide service learning by working with readings students at Rhea Valley Elementary School. WCPS is also represented on the Teacher Preparation Advisory Committee (TPAC) in order to advise the Education Department.
The Education Department uses Mentor Virginia to provide continuous training for clinical faculty mentors that host pre-service teachers. This program, funded by the Virginia Department of Education, is in collaboration with other teacher preparation programs in Virginia.
The Teachers for Tomorrow program is offered in middle school and high schools in order to provide individuals that may be interested in becoming an educator with apprenticeship experiences before they enter post-secondary education. Middle school and high school students enrolled in Teachers for Tomorrow are able to have their coursework and observations transferred as one of their Early Field Experience courses in the Education Program.
The Virginia Association of Colleges and Teacher Educators (VACTE) is the Virginia affiliate of the national organization of the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE). These organizations are made up of teacher preparation programs that support necessary in the preparation of high-quality educators. Emory & Henry College’s membership provides awards and scholarships to students and faculty, as well as, valuable collegial networking throughout the Commonwealth and the nation.
The Education Department’s collaboration with Virginia Education Assessment Collaborative (VEAC) provides the Department with important assessments that allow for continuous program improvement. Specifically, the surveying of alumni and employers provides valuable feedback to the teacher preparation program as to how our completers are performing in their first three years of teaching.