The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 16, 1998, Page 3, Image 3

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    Teachers College
celebrates 90th year
By Robyn Thompson
Staff Reporter
Ninety years ago, the UNL
Teacher’s College Board of Regents
set forth the college’s mission:
“The aim of the college will be...
to improve the quality of teaching in
particular and to provide thoroughly
prepared teachers for (Nebraska)
On Saturday, the college celebrat
ed its 90th anniversary of achieving
that mission during a luncheon and
all-college birthday party on the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln East
Ninety of the college’s most
esteemed graduates returned for the
event, including Gene Buddig, presi
dent of Major League Baseball’s
American League; and Federick
Edelstein, director of constituent
relations for the U.S. Department of
Ninety years is a long time, said
Teachers College Dean James
O’Hanlon. “It gives us a chance to
look back at what we’ve accom
plished and look toward the future.”
O’Hanlon said the college’s histo
ry reflects the history of Nebraska
because the college has met the
state’s changing education needs
throughout its history.
Today, about one-third of the
state’s teachers and half of Nebraska
school administrators graduated
from the college, O’Hanlon said.
But in the early 20th century, the
state experienced a population boom
and lacked enough teachers to edu
cate its youth.
The college solved the problem in
the 1920s by increasing its student
enrollment, which escalated the num
ber of graduates to be educators.
In the 1950s, school districts
lacked enough teachers to instruct
students with disabilities or other
special needs, so the college again
trained its students to meet that need.
The Teachers College was the
first college in the country to use
technological advances to teach hear
ing-impaired individuals.
Today, two centers have been
instrumental in aiding students with
disabilities: the Center for
Instructional Innovation Research
and the William E. Barkley Memorial
Although the college often has
changed its programs to help the
state, O’Hanlon said three goals have
remained constant:
■ Improving the quality of teach
■ Providing teachers to serve the
■ Providing teachers to serve stu
dents with special needs.
But excellent students are the col
lege’s strongest foundation, he said.
For decades, students have been
drawn to the college because of good
experiences with UNL alumni who
are teachers in their hometowns.
l nese experiences entice students
to teach, which maintains the quality
of schools, O’Hanlon said.
O’Hanlon said that although
superior students were a driving force
in the college, dedicated professors
also are essential to the college’s 90
years of success - professors such as
A1 Seagren, a 35-year veteran of the
“It had always been a lifetime
dream to be a professor at UNL,”
Seagren said
Seagren said he remained at UNL
throughout his career because the
college frequently offered new chal
lenges and professional opportuni
Although the college’s official
birthday party ended Saturday, stu
dents and staff will continue the cele
bration with events spread through
out the rest of the year, O’Hanlon
Later this spring; the college will
dedicate its Teachers College Park,
which is located between Henzlik
and Mabel Lee halls on City Campus.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun,”
O’Hanlon said. “We’re going to enjoy
Student teachers head south
UNL students find opportunity in Houston schools
By Brad Davis
Senior Reporter
Because state budget require
ments have created a questionable
job market for teachers in
Nebraska, some students in UNL’s
Teachers College are heading south
for their student teaching.
Tom Wandzilak, director of
field experiences and certification
for the college, said 10 University
of Nebraska-Lincoln students are
completing their student teaching
requirements in the Houston metro
politan area this semester.
He said between 125-150 stu
dents completed their student
teaching requirements each semes
ter. Last semester, he said, between
20-25 students went out of state to
meet their requirements.
wandzilak said a Nebraska leg
islative action that placed limits on
property taxes and school spending
may cause some school districts to
cut their new-hire budgets, which
has caused increasing numbers of
UNL students to look elsewhere to
be assured employment.
The Houston area, Wandzilak
said, is experiencing tremendous
growth, creating student teaching
and job opportunities for UNL stu
dents that may not be available in
About 25 UNL students - more
than 20 percent of those set to stu
dent teach - have expressed interest
in going to Houston to student
teach next fall, he said.
Wandzilak said UNL students
can apply to his office to teach most
anywhere, although people wanti
ng to go out of the state must be
strong students and have a 3.0 GPA.
Paul Arnold, an education spe
cialist from the Houston-area
Educational Service Center, said
about 800,000 students attended
the 56 schools in the city’s metro
politan area.
UNL has such a tremendous
reputation for turning out
quality teachers.”
Paul Arnold
Houston-area educational specialist
The Houston-area school dis
tricts are growing by about 16,000
students a year, which, along with
teacher attrition, creates a need for
about 7,000 new teachers each
year, Arnold said.
Because Texas is not producing
enough teachers for its schools,
Arnold said, his region began
recruiting student teachers from
UNL last fall.
The intention of bringing in
out-of-state students is to lure them
into full-time jobs when they grad
uate, he said.
“UNL has such a tremendous
reputation for turning out quality
teachers,” Arnold said, “We
thought we’d start with one of the
Two UNL students completed
their student teaching in the
Houston area last fall, and both are
now working full time in the area,
Arnold said.
Ten students from Nebraska are
student teaching in the Houston
area this semester. Arnold said he
hopes that number grows.
Houston-area schools could
hire all of the UNL students that
graduated each year, Arnold said.
However, Wandzilak said stu
dents’ loyalty remained with
Nebraska schools. \
UNL senior Jennifer Baker,
who is Student teachirig:in
Houston suburb of AidiiiS^lcpSp
this semester, said her teaching
experience has been far different
from what she learned in college.
Baker, who teaches a third
grade class, said the Aldine district
focuses on preparing students for a
Texas standardized test
“They’re very traditional here,”
Baker said. “They’re big into stan
dardized testing and lots of work
sheets. It’s not as hands-on. The
university in Lincoln is very ‘whole
language.’ ”
She said the “whole language”
approach to teaching, which UNL
trains its students to use, “immerses
children into books and literature.”
Having to use worksheets' and
assigning percentage grades for
every activity, Baker said, was a
“big letdown.” However, she said
seeing a different side of teaching
would better prepare her for a
career anywhere.
Shannon Schwieger, a UNL
senior, is teaching both second- and
third-grade classes in Aldine.
Schwieger said because of the
traditional teaching style in the
Aldine district, she would rather
work in Nebraska. But she said that
if she could find a more progressive
school in Texas, she would take a
position there.
Both UNL students emphasized
that although the teaching methods
were different in the Houston area,
their experiences have been posi
tive,. :
“(The feachingmethodS'are)
philosophy,” Baker
4paPl3j£ifeany; prouo Of the pro
gram that I’ve come from in
Nebraska - down here I just wasn’t
prepared for how traditional it
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