Grant Will Promote Student Teaching in High-Needs Classrooms

Thirty Augustana education majors who volunteer to conduct their student teaching in high-needs classrooms will now be eligible to receive a $2,000 voucher good toward their outstanding student loans or graduate school.

The vouchers are part of Augustana’s Service Learning Program, an initiative designed to integrate community service and civic engagement with academic study.

The program is funded by a new $60,000 grant from AmeriCorps, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to helping children, improving communities and preserving the environment.

“One of the best ways to prepare tomorrow’s teachers is to place them in high-needs classrooms during their student teaching practicums. By doing so, they’ll have the opportunity to work with a wide range of students, including those who have learning challenges or who are affected by low socio-economic conditions,” said Dr. Sheryl Feinstein, professor of Education. “They’ll also be better prepared to work with high- or special-needs students when they are in classrooms of their own.”

Officials with the Sioux Falls School District agree.

"The Sioux Falls Public Schools are thankful for Augustana College's commitment to prepare and encourage aspiring educators to student teach in high-needs classrooms. The best teachers are those who can address the diverse needs of all children," said Superintendent Pam Homan. "Augustana's grant from AmeriCorp will support those student teachers who desire to experience and develop their skills in serving all children in high-needs classrooms. We look forward to hiring applicants with this experience."

In addition to student teaching in a high-needs classroom, grant recipients will also be required to journal or blog about their experiences.

“Writing about their experiences will help our students connect what they learned in their academic classrooms at Augie to real life,” said Feinstein. 

Students who wish to apply for the program should contact Dr. Feinstein at 605.274.5211. 

Kelly Sprecher
Director of Communications & Media Relations