WCU’s Teaching Fellows Program Gets High Marks

Western Carolina University’s Teaching fellows Program was lauded for demonstrating “excellence in implementation and results” in 18 of 25 program areas evaluated during a recent review by the North Carolina Teaching Fellows Commission.

An evaluation team visited the WCU campus last November and “clearly received the message presented by the participants in the evaluation process that the WCU Teaching Fellows Program is a prized possession of the university community, and that it is displayed as a jewel for the world to see,” the evaluator wrote in their summary.

Eighty-two Teaching Fellows are currently enrolled in Western’s teacher education program. Recipients of the state-sponsored scholarship receive $26,000 to pay for their college educations. In return, they must agree to teach for four years in the state’s public schools after graduation.

Evaluators wrote that Carol Burton, director of the WCU’s Teaching Fellows Program, and Brenda Wike, program assistant, “have been able to set and maintain extremely high standards for the program and to provide an outstanding framework of development experiences for the fellows in the program.”

Among the program areas receiving “commendable” ratings, indicating those areas that show “excellence in implementation and results,” were technology education, collaborative efforts with 12-K schools, student seminars, student support, opportunities for field trips and travel, public relations and institutional priority.

None of the 25 program areas evaluated was found to be less than satisfactory.

WCU was one of the original nine state universities chosen to host the Teaching Fellows program when it began in 1987. Since then, about 210 Teaching Fellows have graduated with education degrees from Western and have gone on to teaching positions in North Carolina classrooms.

For more information about the WCU Teaching Fellows Program, contact Carol Burton at (828)227-7056.