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W PA/Ohio Schools for 3.0 elementary ed major

LaurenTheMomLaurenTheMom 129 replies36 threads Junior Member
edited August 2009 in Parents Forum
My D is interested in becoming an elementary education teacher. GPA 3.0/SAT 1030 (M&CR). After several presentations, I now understand that there are certain steps she must follow that are particular to the state in which she seeks certification. She's shy and a little socially awkward, but is very patient and kind with young children. When she's in a new situation, she tends to be more outgoing and confident - although she will never run with the "edgy" kids. She does not drink or party (and seems very opposed). She's definitely naive and young at heart. Would a state school with a freshman class of 1200 be suitable (slippery rock, clarion, Cal u, Edinboro)? Would a private school (mercyhurt, gannon, Pitt Johnstown) be substantially different? Has anyone had success with any W PA/Ohio school for their child seeking the same certification? Any advice would be appreciated!
edited August 2009
24 replies
Post edited by LaurenTheMom on
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Replies to: W PA/Ohio Schools for 3.0 elementary ed major

  • GossamerWingsGossamerWings 1246 replies313 threads Senior Member
    I don't have any program recommendations for you, but judging from the way you describe your daughter...is she by any chance an asperger's kid? You will want to take that into consideration when choosing a program.
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  • NeonzeusNeonzeus 1142 replies92 threads Senior Member
    Slippery Rock is certainly known for its education program. Many kids go home on weekends, so she can ease into school if needed. CalU may be a little better match for her stats. Some facilities have been upgraded lately. I know someone whose kid is at Edinboro after flunking out at another Western PA school, and the kid is thriving there. This kid found that Edinboro was very supportive. None of these schools will have the college-town or level of partying of a Penn State, but they can each give her a satisfying college experience. As she matures and develops her college academic record, she always has the option of transferring later to IUP or Pitt.

    In my opinion, any of the schools you listed would be fine for your D. The teaching programs at Edinboro or Cal U may be a little more supportive of a student with her academic record who is just beginning to find her own voice.

    Pitt Johnstown may be a little more competitive. It has a different feel, so she should definitely visit it if she hasn't gone there when the school is in session. I know some kids at Gannon, which has a reputation for being a little more preppy with cliques than some of the other schools you've named. On the other hand, its size is in-between the state schools and the very small private schools. Mercyhurst, Waynesburg, St. Vincent, Carlow or LaRoche are all matches for her, but are much more expensive than the state schools.

    I can't think of any Ohio schools that I'd recommend over the schools that you identified, but perhaps someone from Ohio will have suggestions. You might take a look at Marshall University in West Virginia, though. It might be a good match for your D at a comparable cost. She might also consider Duquesne as a reach. It's got a good size and would be very supportive.

    The more visits you make to the school, the more comfortable she will be when it's time to enroll. Keep in mind that the girl she is at 17 or 18 will be different than the woman that graduates in four years! Each of these schools will give her a place to grow and enjoy her college experience. If possible, let her attend each Admitted Students Day before sending in her deposit so that she can get the best feel for the school she chooses.
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  • Erin's DadErin's Dad 33985 replies4627 threads Super Moderator
    With that kind of personality she might do better at a smaller school that would presumably give her more individual attention.
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  • JHSJHS 18503 replies72 threads Senior Member
    One college you may want to check out is St. Vincent College. It's a lovely, small Benedictine institution in Latrobe. It was also the alma mater of Fred Rogers, and now the home of the Fred Rogers Center (or something like this). A leader in early childhood and elementary education, and I think a very personal, nurturing institution.
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  • LaurenTheMomLaurenTheMom 129 replies36 threads Junior Member
    No aspergers. I've asked her doctors about that - and she's been tested several times. She does have a learning disability, but medication has helped dramatically. Her GPA went from a 2.6 to a 3.8 from sophomore to junior year. She's taking her first AP as a senior.

    It's hard to grasp what "individual attention" will mean and how she will be able to get that attention. She tries very hard in school and always asks for extra help when she believes she needs it. I hope that she will continue to do so in college. I appreciate the comment that she will grow and change - I'm hoping so. The environment is really important. I know kids drink/party everywhere, but I am hoping for an environment where the party atmosphere doesn't prevail.

    I also gather that the likelihood of a teacher finding work will not vary too much based upon college education. Is there a difference between Pitt Johnstown (elem ed is not offered at main) and Edinboro for employment purposes? Is there a school that has a known reputation for helpings its elem ed teachers find employment? I know employment will depend mostly on how well she does and how well she interviews, but if a school can really have an impact, it might be helpful. Thank you for all of your advice!
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  • mezzomommezzomom 758 replies53 threads Member
    I always hate the feeling of shilling for my daughter's college, but you might want to take a look at Otterbein in Westerville, OH which is right outside of Columbus
    ( Otterbein College Home Page ). They're considered strong in education, and if nothing else, you would have a point of comparison with regard to the small college vs. large school issue. Otterbein is switching from quarters to a semester system starting in 2010-11, so the course descriptions will change a bit in the future but the overall approach will remain the same. I have no idea if there is licensure reciprocity between PA and OH, but even just checking out the website would probably give you some more data points to consider.

    In addition, I have been hugely impressed with Otterbein's disability office. Although my daughter has a chronic illness rather than a learning disability, I know that they work diligently with/on behalf of their students.

    Otterbein is officially a dry campus, and most of Westerville was dry until a few years ago (Westerville is the historical home of the Anti-Saloon League). That does NOT mean that drinking doesn't occur, and my non-drinking daughter was probably naive in hoping dry meant dry rather than damp. But drinking is not a pervasive part of the campus culture, and my daughter, who is a rising senior, has never felt pressured to drink.
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  • MidwestMom2Kids_MidwestMom2Kids_ 6345 replies328 threads Senior Member
    I second the suggestion of Otterbein.
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  • NeonzeusNeonzeus 1142 replies92 threads Senior Member
    I've only heard that Slippery Rock has a good teacher's placement office, but it will depend on where she wants to work. PA has a glut of teachers, so my kids have heard from friends with education majors that most job openings have been in places like New Orleans, AZ, NV and some inner-city school programs. (The day-care chains like Tender Care and KinderCare also hire elementary ed majors.) Catholic Universities may provide job opportunities in parochial school districts, but they have some of the same declining enrollments as public school districts. The best bet may be to ask questions of current education students at each of her finalist schools, as well as asking questions about placement of either the Education Dept. or whatever department handles employment advising.

    One question to ask is whether the school counts substitute teaching as employment when reporting its employment statistics. She will also need to know where the student teachers are assigned. Having an on-campus school is convenient for student teaching, but may not offer the same chances for future employment as student-teaching placement in unrelated school districts. She will want to know if the college assigns student teachers, or if students are required to go out and find their own student teaching assignment.

    Individual atttention can vary from tutoring centers to professors that are very accessible. Edinboro has a good program for students with learning disabilities, and offers individualized test taking programs. I don't know how other schools handle this, but I definitely heard about a student with learning disabilities at Edinboro who is accomodated. I also read a newspaper article about Edinboro's special programs for disabled students, so I think this is something that the school prides itself on. Other special attention might be reflected by more forgiving academic probation rules that let students continue as long as progress is being made towards a degree. I suspect that smaller schools and academic departments can monitor students' progress more closely, and that the schools endeavor to keep students enrolled to preserve funding. The assumption is that larger schools can afford to treat students less personally. On the other hand, a smaller school can make it harder to avoid a professor or other students that you don't like.

    She has many good choices. As she looks at them, some of them will start to stand out. My kids discovered that each school had its own personality, and that the visits really helped them to envision whether they were good fits or not.
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  • NeonzeusNeonzeus 1142 replies92 threads Senior Member
    Also - I don't want to be too negative about teaching jobs in PA. One of my kids has a friend in Eastern PA who had two teaching job offers (one from an inner city Philadelphia school and one from the district where she student-taught). As we know, most school districts fill a few job openings each year as a result of retirements, leaves of absences, etc. Jobs do exist!!! Schools are likely to have relationships with particular school districts where they send student teachers year-after-year. Since student teaching might lead to employment opportunities, you'd want to consider what school districts Pitt Johnstown places its student teachers in vs. the school districts that another college may use for student teaching.
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  • giftedgothicgiftedgothic 464 replies40 threads Member
    IUP has a great teaching program. That's originally how the school was intended-- a school for future teachers. I have a good friend who is majoring in Secondary English Education, and she absolutely loves the support she gets there. I plan on going there and majoring in criminology.
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  • SLUMOMSLUMOM 3581 replies29 threads Senior Member
    Check out Alfred University in Alfred, NY in the Southern Tier. AU has Elementary Education, it is small, private, good financial aid. A "hidden gem" of a school! Yes, my D is starting as a Freshman soon! Good academic support systems there: my first impressions have been that it would be difficult for a student to fall into the cracks.
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  • deb922deb922 6274 replies201 threads Senior Member
    In Ohio, Ohio Wesleyan has an education program. Also if looking for something a little bigger, try Bowling Green.

    A friend of mine who has a child interested in education says to try to find programs that offer a Bachelor's in Education. Many schools have a system where you receive a Bachelor's in the subject that you want to major in and then get a Master's in Education. Apparently that restricts your employibility, most school districts want to hire teachers at the bottom of the pay scale to save money are they have to pay those with a master's more.
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  • JustAMomOf4JustAMomOf4 4425 replies138 threads Senior Member
    All of the PA State System of Higher Education Universities have great teaching programs.
    These are the state schools - i.e. Slippery Rock, Clarion, IUP, California etc. The competition to enter varies though. Two that haven't been mentioned are California U and Shippensburg.
    If you live in PA - then you really can't go wrong with any of these schools. With those stats and an early application she should gain acceptance to all of those in the western part of the state.

    As far as teaching goes - if she ever wants to teach in PA she should get certified in PA. Some schools in other states have programs to get you certified in PA - so if she goes to school in OH have her look into that.
    To come to PA, certified in any other state - even with years of teaching experience, is difficult to get certified.

    With her LD, keep in mind she will have to pass Praxis tests to get certified. Some colleges start these in the 2nd year and you have to pass to move forward. It's kind of a way to "weed out", or preventing kids from getting a degree and then not being certified.
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  • JustAMomOf4JustAMomOf4 4425 replies138 threads Senior Member
    About teaching jobs in PA:
    Our SD is getting hundreds of applications for each opening. We have certified teachers working as teacher assistants.
    Don't be afraid to take a job in an inner city or rural, central PA; otherwise the competition is very stiff.
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  • toledotoledo 4856 replies290 threads Senior Member
    We've pm'd before, as both our daughter are similar. If you can get your D to decide on urban, suburban, or rural, that will narrow the list quite a bit. My son goes to Gannon and it's the last place I'd send my D. Even though they have good LD services and my son likes the school, it' inner-city, with the all the inner-city problems. Mercyhurst is beautiful, suburban, and has LD services, but I'm concerned with the bad students' reviews I've read, from the web site ************** dot com. Kids go home every weekend and my D wouldn't be able to do so.

    Bowling Green is a top school for education majors here in Ohio. It may be too large for my D, but I'm hoping she looks at it. LD services are supposed to be excellent. As far as a small, private school, with good LD services, you may want to check out Muskingum.

    Both Fiske and Princeton Review have guides that list some good LD schools.
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  • thumper1thumper1 77957 replies3488 threads Senior Member
    Bachelor's in Education

    Check the state requirements for certification before you assume that the above is the preferred degree. Where I am (CT) ALL teachers (including elementary) are required to have a major field of study in a content area (math, sciences, humanities, arts, whatever) AND take the teaching certification courses too.

    And in our state (and many others) a masters or equivalent is required within a certain number of years anyway.
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  • OHKIDOHKID 1176 replies79 threads Senior Member
    Try Bowling Green and Eastern Michigan, which offers in-state tuition to all Ohio residents. Both would most likely accept your daughter, and are great schools, especially for aspiring teachers.
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  • abasketabasket 20999 replies908 threads Senior Member
    Not sure where in PA you are, but we recently visited Mount Union in Alliance Ohio (maybe 1 -1 1/2 hours from PA?) and we were told one of their top majors is education. The campus is small, but definitely has all the "pieces" of a college campus. Most of the buildings were in great shape - dorms included! Pretty campus, decent surrounding town, small college atmosphere.
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  • walkinghomewalkinghome 7520 replies298 threads Senior Member
    As other posters have said, make sure your daughter gives a lot of thought as to where she wants to teach after graduation. When we were looking at colleges I thought we were being very smart to ask about reciprocal agreements for teacher certification when we looked at out of state colleges. All of the colleges that we looked at oos said they had reciprocal agreements with PA. However, what we found out was while the degree was accepted, she still needed to take the PA praxis tests and jump through a few hoops to get certified. She is going for her third state certification right now, and it requires another set of tests. The tests are similar to the SAT's where the upper level ones are only given at certain times of year in particular locations. A friends son who graduated from a college in the south with a secondary ed degree and certification in History was told that he needed to take two more math classes for PA to certify him.

    In hindsight, I'm not sure we would have done anything differently, but we would have known about the timing for the tests.
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  • yabeyabe2yabeyabe2 2401 replies53 threads Senior Member
    Some PA schools I have heard good things about are Alleghenny; Lebanon Valley; Elizabethtown; Lycoming; Susquehanna and Bloomsburg. I know some of these are more Central PA than Western

    Best of luck to her--she sounds like a lovely girl who will make a great teacher--perhaps a teacher of Special Ed students?
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