All posts by Marilynn Cirri

“Pay Off” for College of Education Interns

George Papaemanuel from Pasco County Schools conducting a mock interview with final intern, Madison Jantzen.
George Papaemanuel from Pasco County Schools conducting a mock interview with final intern, Madison Jantzen.

Final interns from the College of Education, attended the 2019 -2020 spring seminar hosted by the Office of School Partnerships at the Clearwater Campus this past session. Networking makes this is a favorite seminar among the final interns since they have an opportunity to meet representatives from the school districts who are responsible for hiring teachers.  Pasco County Hiring Capital Partner, George Papaemanuel, stated that he has been impressed with every SPC graduate he has hired for Pasco schools.

School Districts in Attendance 

  • Pinellas
  • Pasco
  • Hillsborough
  • Hernando.  

Two interns had an opportunity to participate in a mock interview, affording them a learning opportunity regarding what questions would be asked during the hiring process. Students “dressed to impress” and made an excellent impression on the districts. The “pay off” came when advanced binders authorizing teaching positions were offered to several interns by Pinellas County School District!  

Pinellas County Schools conducted an informative session on cover letters, resume writing and job interviewing. Getting an inside scoop on some potential questions asked at interviews, as well as tips for making their resume stand out was definitely appreciated by the final interns! The pre-service teachers learned that sending a hand-written ‘thank-you’ note is still apparently appreciated after an interview. 

Dr. Dallas Jackson and Ms. Diane Dove from Pinellas County Schools are below presenting about resumes, cover letters and interviewing tips.
Dr. Dallas Jackson and Ms. Diane Dove from Pinellas County Schools are below presenting about resumes, cover letters and interviewing tips.

During a “working” lunch, Ms. Pam Wilkins conducted a presentation to the 4 districts regarding our online programs in the College of Education.

In the afternoon, the final interns had an opportunity to visit districts during break-out sessions so they could find out more about the opportunities at the individual districts.

The Office of School Partnerships received many positive comments from the final interns, including Christine Pfeiffer.  She sent an email with the following, “Thank you to all of you for a great seminar on Friday. I can’t believe my journey at the College of Education at SPC is almost done. Where has the time gone?”

For more info on the College of Education programs, please call 727-712-5410 or email roper.pat@spcollege.edu .

Scholarships Make a Difference

The Juvenile Welfare Board provides scholarships to students in the Early Childhood AS degree program and to B.S. Ed Studies Preschool degree students who work in a licensed professional Early Childhood setting in Pinellas County.  The upcoming scholarship due date is JUNE 21st.

The Impact of a Scholarship

  • Scholarships help to lessen the impact of rising tuition costs.
  • Scholarships help students have more time to focus on their studies.
  • Scholarships can decrease the number and amount of loans students need to take to complete higher education.

Some of the Recipients Share Their Thoughts

Courtney Ballestero says “The Juvenile Welfare board is a tremendous force for good in the community. That is why it has been an honor to receive this scholarship and use it to further my reach in my sphere of influence and pursue my passion in Early Childhood Education. My intent to is to use my training to assist at-risk children and underserved populations in Pinellas County through early education interventions and developmentally appropriate childhood centers that spark the creativity of the young mind. Thank you for sponsoring my vision! Thank you for partnering with me for the future of tomorrow!

Juvenile Welfare Board Scholarship Recipient
Juvenile Welfare Board Scholarship Recipient – Thank you for sponsoring my vision!
Juvenile Welfare Board Scholarship Recipient - I am grateful

Latori Harris wanted to let the Juvenile Welfare Board know how it helped her. “I am a single mother of three children, I have a set of twins who are 11 years old along with a two year old. I always encourage my children daily that no matter what obstacles may come your way I am grateful to have been awarded the Juvenile Welfare Board Scholarship for the Spring Term 2019. This scholarship will allow me to get the supplements I need to become a better student along with becoming an effective teacher. My future goals are to become a childcare provider for children with disabilities that’s been my lifelong passion. I enjoy seeing students learn, grow and push past their disabilities, to always put your best foot forward to do whatever you have set in your heart to do. 

My own squad to cheer me on-

I am starting my seventh year working full-time as a teacher for twelve adorable (and very energetic) two-year-olds. I’ve been so busy with my online math class this semester (my early childhood education class just started this week), that I hadn’t realized I had received the scholarship until a couple of weeks ago when I called the bookstore. What a wonderful surprise when I found out I had a $1,000 scholarship waiting for me from the Juvenile Welfare Board!  The Juvenile Welfare Board feels like having my own little cheering team.  A team that supports and encourages me towards my goal of obtaining my degree in early childhood education.  With the money from this scholarship, I have been able to purchase items which will help me with my online courses.  Thank you so very much for selecting me as a recipient! 

JWB Scholarship was my own cheerleading squad
JWB Scholarship was my own cheerleading squad

Sincerely,

Debbie Orifici

Apply now!

Login here: https://spcollege.academicworks.com/users/sign_in

Complete the general SPC Foundation scholarship application if you have not already.

Click the “Opportunities” tab and select the Juvenile Welfare Board Scholarship to answer the additional questions/upload a pay stub and click “Apply”.





For more info on Early Childhood, Ed Studies Preschool or College of Education programs -contact the Coordinator, ryan.anne@spcollege.edu or cirri.marilynn@spcollege.edu.

ELITE Educators Graduate

ELITE Educators Graduate 2019

Pinellas County Schools Superintendent Dr. Mike Grego, with Elite Educator Grads Amber Hillhouse, Angelica Bethany, Jacqueline Davidson and Michelle Feo. 

St. Petersburg College (SPC) College of Education, and Pinellas County School (PCS) officials gathered at the administration office on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 to congratulate recent ELITE Educator Elementary Education graduates.  

Dr. Michael Grego, Superintendent, started the event with a brief explanation of the inception of the ELITE Educator program—a joint venture between PCS and SPC’s College of Education, to ensure outstanding well-prepared educators who receive additional “incentives” with their degree. Giant checks (an internship stipend) were awarded for completion of the program, along with a guaranteed job! 

The program was initiated by Grego and Dr. Kimberly Hartman, Dean of the College of Education, to provide education majors with pertinent content material early in their pre-education classes.

The Elite Educator program is a partnership with Pinellas County Schools and St. Petersburg College. It prepares students to teach kindergarten through 6th grade with an ESOL and Reading Endorsement. Students come in as cohorts and take their classes together. They are assigned a mentor for the entire program to make a connection with the college and the services offered. The cohorts enjoy seminars and professional development opportunities in this highly structured program.

Amber Hillhouse receives stipend for successful completion of ELITE program
Amber Hillhouse receives stipend for successful completion of ELITE program

Knowledge fuels a teacher’s passion. Becoming more is what keeps teachers motivated. Teachers can impact the learning environment in many ways, including the physical, psychological and instructional setting. Educating children is a rewarding and tough job.

We are currently seeking enrollment for the fall 2019 term. For more information about the ELITE Educator program, contact Pam Wilkins at 727-712-5888.

The Perks for this Program

  • Completing the program guarantees you a position with Pinellas County Schools
  • Receive exceptional math and science preparation
  • Prepared to work with exceptional students and English Language learners

Opportunities – Teaching or Leadership Career in Your Future?

Considering different career options, looking for opportunities to add to what you have and trying to figure out if teaching is right for you?  Interested in non-teaching leadership positions?  Learn how to transfer your associate’s degree to our bachelor’s degree in Education or ask questions about a variety of Education programs. Have pizza, win some prizes and meet with Pinellas County School representatives about employment opportunities!

Open House Event
Open House Event – Pat Roper and Dr. Kelly

St. Petersburg College is hosting an Education Open House on Tuesday, February 5th, at the SPC Clearwater Campus Library, Room 109 @ 5:00 p.m. For more info, call Pat Roper at 727-712-5410 or email  roper.pat.spcollege.edu.

During this career exploration event, you can learn about education bachelor’s degree opportunities that lead to career options:

  • Florida-certified teacher jobs
  • Education careers outside the traditional classroom

Degree and career options

Early Childhood Education– Our programs in early childhood education follow a pathway to prepare you to work effectively with early learners (birth to age 4) and their families in both the public and private sectors.

Elementary Education – If you love learning and want to help students discover their potential, SPC’s College of Education is the place for you. Explore our all online option geared for paraprofessionals and the true Florida distance learning student.

Exceptional Student Education – A bachelor’s degree in Exceptional Student Education (ESE) prepares you for a career in great demand: special education teacher.

Educational Studies and Community Leadership– Our Bachelor of Science in Educational Studies and Community Leadership is for those who want to deepen their understanding of the learning and teaching process, yet seek careers in non-school settingsHelping, guiding and coaching others to their dreams is a very satisfying fundamental form of job fulfillment. (see online options

Three Options Available in Ed Studies

Preschool Track

Drs. Curtis and Hoeh
Drs. Curtis and Hoeh, COE

Interdisciplinary Track

Educational Interpreting Track

Middle Grades Math and Science / Secondary Math Education – Teachers with expertise and certifications in science and math remain in critical demand across Florida’s school districts.

and More…

Paths to Teacher Certification – temporary to full certification and renewal & reinstatement.

Education AA Transfer Plan – This A.A. transfer plan is intended for students who want to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Education at St. Petersburg College.

Educator Prep Institute – Designed for those with a non-education bachelor’s degree or higher, our Educator Preparation Institute provides a fast-track certification program that only takes one year to complete. Information Session on Wednesday, February 6th, CL Campus, ES Building, Room 125 @ 5:30pm.

Come meet with faculty, advisors, and staff during Education Open House

  • Financial assistance information (scholarships for teaching, loans, and student employment)
  • Student Discussion
  • Meet students and explore teaching clubs
  • Visit tables and learn about job opportunities and meet Pinellas County School Staff
OSP - S. Kent Roberts, Fran Fuentes, Dr. Santos
Office of School Partnerships – Sherri Kent-Roberts, Francine Fuentes and Dr. Wanda Santos

So reserve your seat today for COE’s February Education Open House Extravaganza and learn about opportunities in teaching and  leader-ship for you!

http://www.spcollege.edu/events/college-of-education-open-house

Passion to Teach, Alternative Plan

Are you eligible to take an alternate route and become a teacher in a 3 semester program?
Do you have a passion to teach?
Dr. Michael Poulin, College of Education Dept. Chair and Educator Prep Institute Cooridnator
Dr. Michael Poulin, COE Dept. Chair & EPI Coordinator
Meet Dr. Poulin on Wednesday, February 6th at 5:30, and see if this is your future.

Educator Prep Institutes are designed for baccalaureate degree holders to become certified teachers.  If you have a non-education Bachelor’s degree or are a career changer considering an alternative route —  become a quality educator!  The College of Education at SPC has the perfect state-approved program for you.  Three semesters, starting Summer/ May 2019.

St. Petersburg College’s (SPC) Educator Preparation Institute (EPI) is a three-semester program which leads to Florida’s Professional Educator’s Certificate. Anyone with a Bachelor’s Degree or higher is eligible for entry to the EPI Program. The EPI Program leads to certification in many educational areas:

If you would like more detailed information, please join us at our upcoming EPI Info Session:

Educator Preparation Institute

Information Session

Wednesday, February 6th, 2019

5:30 – 7:00 p.m.

Clearwater Campus– ES – Room 125

2465 Drew St., Clearwater

Register at:   https://web.spcollege.edu/survey/22898

  • The EPI is an evening program with daytime teaching requirements during the second and third terms. All EPI courses are “blended”.  Blended course content will be delivered both on campus and online. EPI is not an online program, although coursework involves online components. On-campus class times may require one or two nights a week (Mon.-Thur.) beginning at 6:00 p.m. and ending between 8 and 9:00 p.m.
  • Most importantly, EPI students are placed in elementary, middle or secondary schools (based on certification area) for real practical teaching experience. Our students complete a 60-hour practicum experience in the fall semester and a 10-week full internship in the Spring.

If you have any questions, please contact:

Dr. Michael Poulin, EPI Coordinator at Poulin.michael@spcollege.edu  or Marilynn Cirri at cirri.marilynn@spcollege.edu .

Education Community OPPORTUNITY AND FUN

Drs. Curtis and Hoeh
Drs. Curtis and Hoeh, COE

OPPORTUNITY FOR

Community, Fun, & Service:

 

INTERESTED STUDENTS (potential and current),

COLLEGE OF ED STAFF, SPC Staff,

COE STUDENTS,

SFEA, and KDP STUDENTS

What? Education Community Walk- Step to Success

When? November 30th          9:30 AM-11:30 AM

Where? Clearwater Campus in the Quad

ETHICS AND SOCIAL SCIENCE BUILDING (ES) / MEET IN THE FOOD COURT – WE WILL WALK AROUND THE CAMPUS

Why?

This event will provide the opportunity to talk to COE faculty and staff while learning about the different programs and amazing services SPC offers. Oh…and because there will be a doughnut vendor on site serving coffee and doughnuts!    

How? 1)Bring a non-perishable food item and/or a new toy to give to those in need this holiday season (and be entered in the prize drawing)

2)Walk the Education Community pathway. Learn about the programs and services at SPC (get your passport stamped to earn another entry into the prize drawing)

Wait…Prizes!?!? Yes! Win – with your donation and/or passport you will be entered into a prize drawing with the opportunity for prizes like a FITBIT Charge or a FITBIT Alta along with awesome SPC swag.

Join us for a fun-filled morning of helping others, learning more about the College of Education and spending quality time with your community members!

Pat Roper instrumental in Elite Program
Pat Roper instrumental to COE

Career Seminar OSP sponsors future teachers
Dr. Santos and Dr. McAllister

Click the link below to let us know if you plan to come!! We hope to see you there!!

https://na01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fdocs.google.com%2Fforms%2Fd%2Fe%2F1FAIpQLSf7YD_TGS4GyApDlDt5cEqbrMlODalDjsB3hQ_Z0TA0nRwjqw%2Fviewform%3Fusp%3Dsf_link&data=02%7C01%7Ccurtis.jessica%40spcollege.edu%7C1aec851da5a3475f100708d645acc3dc%7C575038c8ac704295810e0df79c005f41%7C0%7C0%7C636773005657162207&sdata=vRE4cIySxkzwjJ8yi%2F5c6NkR3%2FQBbOgaZUWpqVJHOE4%3D&reserved=0

Special Olympics Exceptional Exceptional Experience

Alternate Route, Passion to Teach

Are you eligible to take an alternate route and become a teacher in a 3 semester program?
Do you have a passion for education?

Dr. Michael Poulin, College of Education Dept. Chair and Educator Prep Institute Cooridnator
Dr. Michael Poulin, COE Dept. Chair & EPI Coordinator

Meet Dr. Poulin on Wednesday, November 7th at 5:30, and see if this is your future.

Educator Prep Institutes are designed for baccalaureate degree holders to become certified teachers.  If you have a non-education Bachelor’s degree or are a career changer considering an alternative route —  become a quality educator!  The College of Education at SPC has the perfect state-approved program for you.  Three semesters, starting Summer/ May 2019.

St. Petersburg College’s (SPC) Educator Preparation Institute (EPI) is a three-semester program which leads to Florida’s Professional Educator’s Certificate. Anyone with a Bachelor’s Degree or higher is eligible for entry to the EPI Program. The EPI Program leads to certification in many educational areas:

If you would like more detailed information, please join us at our upcoming EPI Info Session:

 

Educator Preparation Institute

Information Session

Wednesday, November 7th, 2018

5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Clearwater Campus– ES – Room 105

2465 Drew St., Clearwater

Register at:  http://web.spcollege.edu/survey/25544

  • The EPI is an evening program with daytime teaching requirements during the second and third terms. All EPI courses are “blended”.  Blended course content will be delivered both on campus and online. EPI is not an online program, although coursework involves online components. On-campus class times may require one or two nights a week (Mon.-Thur.) beginning at 6:00 p.m. and ending between 8 and 9:00 p.m.
  • Most importantly, EPI students are placed in elementary, middle or secondary schools (based on certification area) for real practical teaching experience. Our students complete a 60-hour practicum experience in the fall semester and a 10-week full internship in the Spring.
If you have any questions or would like additional info, please contact Dr. Michael Poulin, EPI Coordinator at Poulin.michael@spcollege.edu  or Marilynn Cirri at cirri.marilynn@spcollege.edu .

Elite Educator Partnership

Dr. Greco and Dr. Williams, Elite Educator partnership
Dr. Greco and Dr. Williams, Elite Educator partnership

Be Elite. Be More. Teach.

Be an Elite Educator.  Knowledge fuels a teacher’s passion.  Becoming more is what keeps teachers motivated.  Teachers can impact the learning environment in many ways, including the physical, psychological and instructional setting.  Educating children is a rewarding and tough job.

“I wanted to help students think for themselves.”

“Being a child’s advocate and helping them realize their potential is my greatest joy.”

The Elite Educator program is a partnership with Pinellas County Schools and St. Petersburg College.  It prepares students to teach kindergarten through 6th grade with an ESOL and Reading Endorsement.  Students come in as cohorts and take their classes together.  They are assigned a mentor for the entire program to make a connection with the college and the services offered.  The cohorts enjoy seminars and professional development opportunities in this highly structured program.  Best of all, they graduate with a guaranteed job with Pinellas County Schools!

 

Elite Educator Benefits
  • Completing the program guarantees you a position with Pinellas County Schools
  • Receive exceptional math and science preparation
  • Prepared to work with exceptional students and English Language learners

 

Come to the Information Session – Be More – Be Elite

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Clearwater Campus (2465 Drew St.)

See the new Library – LI 109

5:30-7:00 p.m.

RSVP – 727-712-5410

See if becoming a highly qualified teacher is right for you!   

Elizabeth Ivy, May 2018 graduate of the Elite Educator program and Pinellas County 4th grade teacher
Elizabeth Ivy, May 2018 graduate of the Elite Educator program and Pinellas County 4th grade teacher

 

Getting in the classroom as a freshman was so beneficial after so many practicum hours.  I felt comfortable when it was time to teach.  I would have been nervous without all that classroom observation time.”

For more information on Elite or any College of Education program, contact Pat Roper.

Natural Selection – Education and the Peace Corps

Natalie's students she worked with
Natalie’s students she worked with

Education and the Peace Corps were the natural selections for the next part of Natalie’s journey.

Natalie Part II

As the AmeriCorps experience ended, Natalie enrolled in the Elementary Education program at SPC. She struggled through each semester, changing jobs each time her school schedule changed. Countless nights, Natalie questioned how she was going to afford beans and vegetables knowing her last $15.00 was earmarked for gas for school and her internship. Through it all, she reminded herself that the kids counted on her.

In the summer of 2017, she was presented with the opportunity to join the College of Education in Jamaica to teach in a school for a week with Study Abroad. Natalie didn’t think she could afford it.  However, she really wanted to take advantage of the opportunity, so part of each paycheck went to this first.

Educational skills Natalie taught her students
Educational skills Natalie taught her students

Natalie ran a computer lab at a rural elementary school for an entire week by herself in Ocho Rios, Jamaica in November of 2017. The class sizes in Jamaica are double American class sizes. There were 20 computers and chairs, yet 38 students. Children who had so little became an inspiration to work with.

Comparing Cultures

The experience in Jamaica completely changed her. Arriving back here, she couldn’t wait to share experiences with her students. Through stories, they were able to compare and contrast life and schooling in America vs. Jamaica. Watching students gain respect and tolerance for another culture gave Natalie the feeling they would spread their knowledge to their siblings, families, friends, and anyone they encountered. This was a powerful emotion.

Jamaica students enjoying the COE Study Abroad students
Jamaica students enjoying their time with the COE Study Abroad students

Natalie knew that her next step would be applying for the Peace Corps. The Peace Corps is a sister program to the AmeriCorps. According to their website, the Peace Corps is a service opportunity for motivated people to immerse themselves in a community abroad.  They work side by side with local leaders to tackle the most pressing challenges of our generation.

In February 2018, she applied for the Peace Corps. Ironically, the only education program open for applications at that time was in Jamaica, of all places. The position was for a literacy advisor, doing what Natalie had been doing for the past few years. This was destiny.

The Jamaica program was one of the most competitive programs to get accepted into. This did not discourage Natalie.  She was invited for an interview in May 2018.  Out of many of competitive applicants, Natalie will officially serve as a literacy advisor, departing in March 2019!  She was one of the chosen!

What’s Next? Making a Difference

Natalie’s journey as an educator is just beginning. Her final internship will further prepare her to serve in the Peace Corps!  New stories, new places, new minds to open to a world of  possibilities!

Learning about the world
Learning about the world

For more information about Elementary Education or other programs with the College of Ed, please contact Pat Roper.

Elementary Education – Natalie’s Career Choice

Natalie and one of her students

Part I of Natalie’s Elementary Education Journey

This is a story about a revelation leading to Natalie’s elementary education  journey and how she decided this was the career for her.  Natalie El Amrani is a 24 year old Elementary Education student at St. Petersburg College. She entered her final internship in August 2018, and will graduate in December 2018. The journey in getting this far has not been easy, but Natalie is firm and determined.

Even though Natalie counts her blessings, she grew up in a dysfunctional environment. Her father immigrated to America in his 20’s from Morocco, Africa. Instead of making something of himself in this land of opportunity, he got quickly swept up by the fast life.  Today, he is still working as a bellman in a downtown St. Petersburg hotel. 

Natalie’s  mother was a single mom and tried her best to provide for her only child, as a claims representative at Social Security. She was an amazing, protective mother that always put her health and happiness second to make sure her child was fed and content.

After graduating high school and deciding to enroll in college, Natalie’s mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. She battled with the disease for 3 years before she lost the fight. Her death, in 2015, shattered Natalie. At  the time of her death, Natalie was one semester away from graduating with an associate’s degree.  After graduation in the summer of 2015, a life changing experience fell into her lap while searching for a job:  AmeriCorps.

AmeriCorps Changed Her Life

AmeriCorps is a voluntary program supported by the United States federal government. There was an AmeriCorps opening with an organization named Step Up for Students. Step Up for Students is a nonprofit housed in Florida providing low income students and students with special needs with scholarships to help pay tuition for private school.  The AmeriCorps program sent volunteers into private schools in South St. Petersburg to help floundering students.

Mt. Zion students learning math and reading skills
Students practicing math and reading skills

Mt. Zion Christian Academy was where she was placed, the elementary school associated with Mt. Zion Progressive Missionary Baptist Church. Her goal at Mt. Zion was to boost literacy and math skills through the implementation of software programs: IReady (literacy) and Dreambox (math), effectively group students for intensive pull out tutoring in order to provide academic support. Another goal was to create and run an after school and summer program housed in the gym of the school. Natalie received a small stipend for her AmeriCorps service and spent every day from 8 a.m. –  6 p.m. at Mt. Zion for a year.

Her focus after school and for the summer program was to create and build cultural awareness and tolerance. She taught students about different countries and continents. Together they explored exotic styles of music and dancing, and students looked forward to it every day.  Focusing mainly on the Caribbean, because so many of Natalie’s students had family from the islands, made the Caribbean culturally relevant to them. Many students didn’t even know where the Caribbean was, although they themselves were Jamaican. She taught history of the Caribbean, and dove into reggae and soca music. The experience was absolutely life changing for Natalie.

Lessons Learned

Natalie and some of her students
Natalie and some of her students

Two of the most important lessons learned were that true injustices exist in public education, and there is a great need for positive mentors in the lives of boys and girls. Throughout her service, Natalie connected with a number of 4th and 5th grade girls on personal levels. She saw her younger self in them. She was in a position to help young girls understand the importance of determination and self-confidence. Over time she created a few mentorships, which took place on the weekend.  Opportunities arose to take the girls to cultural festivals, feed the homeless, dine on the waterfront, and see many places that they never knew existed although located minutes from where they lived.

It was this experience, with AmeriCorps, that made Natalie realize she was destined to become a teacher and her focus would be Elementary Education.

Natalie's students she worked with
Natalie’s students

For more information on College of Education teaching programs, please contact Pat Roper.
For Part II of Natalie’s Journey, check back on this blog.