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ECU Education program receives McAuliffe award

(Nov. 18, 1994)   —   A teacher training program at East Carolina University, described as a model for the future preparation of teachers in the state and nation, will receive the Christa McAuliffe Showcase for Excellence Award on Tuesday in Boca Raton, Fla.
The ECU School of Education’s Model Clinical Teaching Program is one of four programs selected for the award given annually by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. The AASCU is a Washington-based higher education organization representing more than 370 state colleges and universities.
The award which recognizes efforts to improve the teaching profession, is named for the teacher who died in the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger. ECU Chancellor Richard R. Eakin will accept the award at the AASCU meeting in Florida on Tuesday.
Dr. Betty Beacham, director of the Model Clinical Teaching Program, said the award is a tribute to the ECU School of Education and to the public schools of Pitt County. She said ECU and the schools share in the management, development and benefits of the program.
“This program has had as much impact on teachers in the field and their growth in the classroom as it has had on our young teachers, coming out of our program,” she said.
Now in its sixth year, the Model Clinical Teaching Program places senior education majors in year-long internships, instead of the traditional 10-weeks, in an elementary school classroom alternating their campus studies with teaching practice.
Beacham said the program has been so successful that ECU will revamp its entire practice teaching program and pattern it after the Model Clinical Teaching Program.
She said that in the next two to five years, the program will lead to a network of partnerships between the university and the public schools in eastern North Carolina.
“I would really like the whole state to recognize what we are doing here. I truly think that our program can be a model for our state and the nation,” she said.
The McAuliffe Award is the third national recognition the program has received this year. In February the program was awarded the Distinguished Program in Teacher Education Award from the Association of Teacher Educators. Last July, the National Education Association’s National Center for Innovation picked ECU as an “exemplary teacher education program.”
Other universities and programs receiving this year’s McAuliffe Award from the AASCU are the Comprehensive Teacher Institute at California State University—Northridge; the Northeast Texas Center for Professional Development and Technology at East Texas State University; and the K-6 Science and Mathematics (KSAM) Program at Southeast Missouri State University.