Fall semester 2012 brought an invigorating wave of new and returning students to Johnson University as displayed by the University’s record enrollment. The School of Education also enjoyed a record freshman class with 61 bright, energetic freshmen who answered the Lord’s leading and selected Johnson as the location for their professional preparation. These new students have come from 19 states and from countries as far away as China, Japan, and Canada. The total enrollment of both graduate and undergraduate students has surpassed 200.
As a part of the university-wide restructure and the incorporation of the hub and spoke model, eight departments or schools were established in order to organize current program offerings more efficiently and effectively; at the same time each is better positioned for future growth. These changes brought about the transition from the Teacher Education Department to the School of Education. As the newly appointed dean of the School of Education, my priority was immediate organization of the existing faculty based on experience and expertise with consideration given to grade level licensure areas and the University’s continuing work in international situations. As a result, three directors have been named to position the School of Education strategically for continued growth. Dr. Chris Templar has been named Director of International Teacher Education, focusing her efforts on our current graduate students from The People’s Republic of China. Dr. Rachel Patten has been named Director of Elementary Education, and Dr. Nikki Votaw has been named Director of Secondary Education. Each of these directors serves on the School of Education Cabinet, providing guidance and expertise in the decision-making process as we monitor current programs and plan for the development of new ones. I am excited to be working with such a strong team of educators and believe that we will continue to see the Lord’s blessings in the years to come.
Current program offerings in the School of Education include teaching licensure for elementary, middle, and high school. Specific grade licensure combinations for undergraduate candidates are Preschool—Kindergarten, Preschool—3rd grade, Kindergarten—6th grade, 4th—8th grade; also available are ESL (K-12) and Gifted (K-12) licensures. As part of the Master’s Post-Baccalaureate program, designed for graduates of non-teaching areas who want to transition to the teaching profession, we offer licensure in elementary and middle school with the additional option of high school licensure in one of the following content areas: English 7-12; Social Studies 7-12; Mathematics 7-12; Biology 7-12; Physics 7-12; World Languages (Chinese, Greek, and Spanish) PK-12. Also offered through our master’s program is the Master’s in Education Technology, providing well-rounded preparation for technological practices incorporated in today’s schools.
Planned future program offerings include an Associate of Science in Early Childhood Education, K-12 Special Education, K-12 Physical Education, and endorsements in ESL and Gifted Education. Also under consideration are an Administrative Licensure program, a Master of Arts in Teaching, an Education Specialist degree (Ed.S) in Curriculum and Instruction; in addition, there is long-term consideration of Ph.D./Ed.D. programs.
The School of Education mirrors the Johnson University mission statement “to extend the kingdom of God to all nations,” and views teaching as one of the “strategic vocations” by which the mission can be accomplished. The structural changes which address our continued growth and future programming opportunities have not changed who we are and what we believe. We will continue to focus on teaching that results in meeting the individual needs of the students by utilizing methods and strategies that view learning from a holistic perspective and continue to require strong expertise in content knowledge from a global and multicultural perspective. We will also focus on delivering rigorous academic preparation embedded in the relevance of current practice but surrounded by strong and supportive relationships that last a lifetime. Most importantly, we will retain the emphasis on teaching that is rooted in the life of a dedicated, committed Christian whether that ministry occurs in an American public school or private Christian school; an international Christian school in Puerto Rico, China, Korea, England (places our graduates have served) or in a university in China (where one of our graduates currently serves). Susan Dalton (B.S., ’09) recently observed, “The more time I spend in the classroom, the more I recognize just how blessed I was to have my education and training at Johnson. Not only was I learning how to be a proficient teacher in my classes, but I was seeing the traits and characteristics needed from the faculty both in and out of the classroom. This has helped me understand that my students are more than their academic grades and that I am called to be more than just a teacher who presents the lessons.”
About the author:
Jeffrey S. Bond, Ed.D. joined the teacher education faculty in 2011 and was recently
named dean of the newly established Templar School of Education. Jeff grew up
in Nashville, Indiana, and worked in the public schools as teacher, coach, assistant
principal, principal, assistant superintendent, and superintendent. He and wife
Sarah (Jones ’98) have four children.