UOG Professors Head to Yap, Pohnpei to Teach Summer Classes
Each summer, the University of Guam School of Education and the College of Micronesia host two regional partnership programs to help teachers in Micronesia earn bachelor’s degrees in elementary education. UOG professor of education Dr. Dean Olah (middle) is shown with a College of Micronesia cohort in Palikir, Pohnpei in 2017.
Faculty from the University of Guam's School of Education will soon head to the Federated States of Micronesia to help aspiring and practicing teachers in the islands earn bachelor's degrees in education. Starting on June 11, the faculty will spend three weeks on the island of Yap and five weeks on Pohnpei. Each of the four faculty members will be teaching two courses based on the needs of the students.
The courses are part of the School of Education's two regional partnership programs—the Partnership BA Program in Elementary Education, which provides coursework for associate degree holders toward a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education, and the Individualized Degree Plan, which also provides coursework for practicing teachers toward a bachelor's in elementary education. Courses for the partnership program are taught on the College of Micronesia-FSM Palikir campus in Pohnpei, whereas the courses for the individualized program are taught on school campuses in Yap, Chuuk, and Kosrae.
The two programs fulfill a mission of the University to provide access to degree courses to regional students.
"Our regional programs have trained a large number of teachers who often travel by boat from other islands, sometimes hundreds of miles away, to attend courses during the summer months only to return to their islands and teach for another year,” said Dr. Michelle Santos, interim Dean for the School of Education.
|University of Guam 2017 Distinguished Alumna for the School of Education Magdalena Hallers is a professor at the College of Micronesia in Palikir, Pohnpei. Hallers works with visiting UOG professors of education on the regional partnership between the institutions to help aspiring and practicing teachers in the islands earn bachelor's degrees in education.|
The programs have been ongoing since 2007 and 1980, respectively, with nearly 100 bachelor's degrees conferred. The students are required to meet the same standards as teacher candidates attending the UOG.
Traveling to Yap this summer will be UOG School of Education professors Dr. Suzanne Bells, Dr. Mary Jane Miller, and Dr. Evelyn Doman. Dr. Dean Olah will be teaching courses on Pohnpei.
The courses taught vary each summer, depending on the students who can attend and the coursework they need. This summer's courses include methods courses in math, science, fine arts, and P.E. and health along with technology education and practicum courses.
The in-service and future teachers of the programs will be preparing students to meet workforce needs throughout the region, according to Bells, who started with the regional programs in the summer of 2013 with a teaching assignment on Yap.
“These are future politicians, future parents, future government workers," she said.
Bells also emphasized the program’s role in forming global citizens without compromising cultural identity. Additionally, she said an informed community can contribute to reducing crime and addressing social issues.
Some graduates become part of the University’s regional efforts. Sylvia Henry, for one, graduated from UOG under the partnership program with a bachelor's in elementary education. She now serves as the College of Micronesia's coordinator for the Partnership BA Program and as a part-time instructor for the University.
Another, Magdalena Hallers, received her bachelor's and master's degrees in special education from UOG and is now a professor of education at the College of Micronesia campus in Pohnpei. Hallers was also recognized as a UOG School of Education Distinguished Alumna.