Education Bachelors Program teaches students how to teach

Valda Garcia Barbon is helping a student in the English Department

Doris Pace

South Bureau Chief

For students considering becoming an inspiration, a motivator or in other words a teacher, Broward College offers a cost competitive educators program. The Bachelor’s of Science in Education will prepare students for the real life classroom by immersing them in classroom simulations, case studies, field experience and offering help with job placement for much less than a four year university.

Students can choose from various Bachelor’s in Science degrees including: exceptional student education, high school biology, middle grade mathematics and high school mathematics.

The Teacher Education Program (TEP) at Broward College is dedicated to preparing future educators for the classroom not just with knowledge of the material they will teach, but also with tools, information and real life training that will help them deal with difficult scenarios in the classroom.

Students are taught by professors who are either still teaching or have many years of experience. Professors bring textbook material and case studies to life by sharing their experiences and guiding students in dealing with issues that arise when dealing with a diverse student body.

“They are really prepared..when you think about a classroom today, the diversity, the exceptionalities, the struggles in reading, this program has it all. Inclusivity and the price is right. It’s really a hands on program,” said Christine Rodriguez a current TEP professor with 24 years of experience in education.

One of the features that really makes coursework “hands on” is “Connected Classrooms.” Here, BC students get a chance to learn how to work with tools currently being used in K-12 classrooms. Classrooms are equipped with electronics like Ipads and Macbooks as well as interactive whiteboards.

Valda Garcia, a student in TEP and also an employee at BC, is about to graduate, but first she must complete a student teaching course which completely immerses students in a real classroom. “Student teaching is an 11 credit course that requires me to teach 500 and 30 something hours in a semester, which is pretty much taking someone else’s lesson and teaching it for four months,” said Garcia.

A mock interview also helps students make the transition into the classroom easier by offering students a chance to sit with school principals and practice interviewing. The principals taking part in this exercise aren’t just there to participate they are actively looking to hire educators.

“The reality is our students are going in to practice interviewing in front of a principal, but the principals are sitting there with contracts..we’ve had 100 percent hiring from this magnificent event,” said Rodriguez.

This all-inclusive program is much less costly than a traditional four year degree at a university without compromising training, education and guidance..

For students concerned with the cost of education, Dr. Elizabeth Molina, Associate Dean for the Education Pathway helps shed some light on available scholarships. “The Education Pathway offers several scholarship opportunities…Two major scholarships we offer are the $10K Bachelor’s Degree Award and the Florida Fund for Minority Teachers (FFMT) Scholarship. The $10k Bachelor’s Degree Award grants full-time students a four-year Bachelor’s degree in Exceptional Student Education K-12, Secondary Biology Education, or Middle/Secondary Mathematics Education for no more than $10,000. The FFMT Scholarship awards students who self-identify as minorities $4,000 per academic year. Both scholarships are intended to meet the critical shortage of teachers in Florida,” explains Dr. Molina.

For students still struggling to make the decision to join the program, Garcia offers some words of encouragement “We’re to enlighten the world and provide paths where people can be successful. There’s something about this college that says success. Success comes out of here…if you really truly want to make anything of yourself, come to Broward College.”