Students from four Delaware high schools, all interested in exploring careers as teachers, visited the University of Delaware campus for a day to learn about opportunities for future educators.
The University's first Success Through Education Conference, held Nov. 13, drew about 100 students and teachers from Indian River, Seaford, Sussex Central and William Penn high schools. Students sat in on classes, networked with UD students and faculty members over lunch and ended the day by meeting in small groups with University education students who were graduates of their high schools.
"Our goal is to create a sustained effort to encourage high school students interested in pursuing education as a career to consider UD as the place to pursue that dream," said Hannah Kim, assistant professor of history and co-coordinator of the social studies education program.
"We are specifically recruiting student populations that are currently underrepresented in the teaching profession, both in Delaware and at the University."
The goal, Kim said, is for UD and high schools to work together to create a pipeline in which Delaware high school students attend UD to study teacher education and then remain in the state after graduation and teach in their home communities.
"To see an audience full of prospective teachers — to see all of you considering this wonderful career — makes me incredibly proud and tremendously excited," Nancy Brickhouse, interim provost and professor of education, told the students at the conference. "This is a critical time, and the need to educate a highly diverse and talented pool of teachers is perhaps greater now than it's ever been."
The conference was planned by Kim; Barry Joyce, associate professor of history and co-coordinator of social studies education; and Carol Wong, associate professor in the School of Education. It was supported by the College of Arts and Sciences and the college's Center for Secondary Education.
Organizers previously conducted research in southern Delaware, interviewing high school students, teachers and administrators about their views of UD and their concerns about attending college and pursuing careers as teachers. The students who attended the first conference will be invited back to campus for a second session in the spring.