Alumni Student Teacher Network
The College of Education at Penn State is unique within the University community in that it has one specific criteria for all undergraduate students in teacher certification programs -- a student teaching practicum. Each student teaching experience extends over one semester (15 weeks) in any one of more than 200 schools (not necessarily in a district close to a student's home). Each year, approximately 1,000 students are sent out to the "real classroom" to test their skills. Students are in touch daily with their cooperating classroom teachers and weekly with their student teaching supervisors (employed by the University and assigned to a certain student teaching center). It is the supervisors who must coordinate the students' lives in the field.
In 1992, in response to strategic planning goals of increased service to students and alumni, and to the expressed needs of students, supervisors, and alumni, the Education Alumni Society Board of Directors created a network of alumni in Berks County and in Norristown that would directly serve student teachers in those areas. They called the project the Alumni-Student Teacher Network.
Alumni who volunteer for the Alumni-Student Teacher Network coordinate educational seminars and social gatherings for the student teachers. At most sites, alumni, supervisors and student teachers meet three times during the semester. The Network provides an excellent opportunity for alumni to share their experience and expertise with student teachers and for the students to network with education professionals.
Due to the success of the Alumni-Student Teacher Network in the initial locations, the project expanded to other teaching sites. Alumni are currently volunteering to assist student teachers in the Abington (Greater Philadelphia), Pittsburgh, and the Centre Region.
Get Involved with the ASTN!
If you live near an Alumni-Student Teacher Network site and wish to become involved, please contact the office of Development and Alumni Relations at 814-863-2216. You can also contact the co-chairs of the ASTN Committee for the Alumni Society Board of Directors: John Czerniakowski at HCL85@yahoo.com OR David Dolbin at firstname.lastname@example.org.