Story by Evan Garcia
Twenty-one Jeffersonville High School students will have the opportunity this year to gain insight into teaching, and potentially begin their careers, in education. Cadet Teaching, or F200, is a program designed to steer students to pursue a degree of education at Indiana University Southeast in New Albany.
Not only is this a dual-credit class, but the students will be able to establish relationships with professors and college students majoring in education at IUS.
Part of this course is about building relationships, according to assistant principal Ginger Whitis. The students will have a faculty member at Jeff High, as well as college students in the education program at IUS, serving as mentors to them.
“The students will have these mentors to aid in the bridge from Jeff High to IUS when they graduate,” Whitis said.
One other goal this program is striving for is to attract minority students to the education department at IUS.
“I think part of the focus truly is to bring minority students to IUS because they are so underrepresented in the education department,” Whitis said.
For the program’s first year back at JHS, Scott Hawkins will take the lead. Hawkins has taught social studies at Jeff High for over 15 years.
When asked about what he needed to do to be the instructor for Cadet Teaching, Hawkins said, “I need to have a Masters degree in education. This summer also I went to training courses at IU Bloomington.”
Andrew Gustafson, a senior at Jeff, is a member of the Cadet Teaching class. In taking the class, Gustafson strives to be a physics professor at a university in the future.
“My schedule worked out so that I had a free period this year,” Gustafson said. “I figured taking Cadet Teaching would be able to help me in the future.”
Gustafson is pleased that a class like Cadet Teaching is offered at JHS.
“I think Mr. Hawkins will be a great teacher for us,” Gustafson said. “It’s not super challenging, but it is for people that are committed to trying to learn about education.”