Several organizational and staffing changes have been made within the Department of Education at Tusculum College, according to Dr. Lisa Johnson, director of the School of Education and director of Graduate and Professional Studies at the College.
“Efforts to keep the curriculum in both the residential and Graduate and Professional Studies education programs parallel required several changes in our organizational structure. These changes allow us to work towards more unity in all our teacher education programs,” Dr. Johnson said.
Among the changes include a move for Polly Johnson who was the director of student teaching and is now the director of field experience for both student teaching in both residential and GPS programs and field experience for GPS students. In addition, the practicum supervisors are now field experience coordinators and include Michelle Clupper in the northeast region and Stephanie Kirby in the southeast region.
According to Dr. Johnson, these changes allow the College to not only increase the rigor of the program that will result in better teachers, but also provide a greater level of support to all students.
The changes were initiated in order to address the difficulty that GPS students were having finding good placements that could tie in to their classes. “With the new structure, the College is better able to provide excellent and relevant opportunities for all the students we serve through the GPS program,” she said.
In addition, the GPS coordinators are also responsible for making sure the programs meet all state requirements and keeping the program up-to-date with new regulations and requirements. Colleen Everett, who served as the program coordinator for the Northeast Region of GPS, will coordinate these efforts as program and compliance director, and Janie Perry will continue in her role as southeast coordinator.
Dr. Diane Robinette, associate professor of special education, is currently on sabbatical in Puerto Rico where she is helping to establish schools for the deaf and will return in May.