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College of Education > News and Publications > News: January - March 2013 > Rural Bedford Seminar offers students a glimpse of ‘rural life’

Rural Bedford Seminar offers students a glimpse of ‘rural life’

The Penn State College of Education will offer CI 295C: The Rural Bedford Seminar in May of 2013.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State College of Education is presenting students with a unique opportunity to experience learning in a rural setting. The three-credit course, CI 295C: The Rural Bedford Seminar, spans two weeks from May 5-17.

The course will provide students with their first field experience. Immersed in a classroom setting, students will observe teachers and students. Some students may be given the opportunity to conduct individual tutoring or small group work, depending on the host teacher’s requests.

“Throughout the course, students will be able to observe teachers, teaching and students using specific observation assignments and tools to guide them,” said Kelly Johnson, instructor in the College of Education.

After the school day, students will explore different historically and culturally significant places in Bedford County. Destinations will include Old Bedford Village, Bedford Springs Hotel, and Gravity Hill.

Students will live in a guesthouse on a beautiful sheep farm. On the property is the first school building ever constructed in Bedford County. Also, it will be lambing season (when lambs are born), so students may get to see newborn lambs and learn more about sheep farming.

“We want the students to get to know the community. What students gain from doing this experience as a two-week immersion will be a better understanding and, hopefully, appreciation of rural life, culture and education through the lens of Bedford County,” Johnson said.

Amanda McGonigle, a former student who taught in Bedford, said she enjoyed her time there.

“The community is filled with education opportunities. On a walking tour you can explore Bedford’s 1828 courthouse that still serves Bedford County, learn how Fort Bedford was captured and stand at the Espy House, a National Historical Landmark, where President George Washington made history,” she said.

Most students are eligible to enroll in this course, regardless of campus affiliation. To participate in CI 295C, students must complete several clearances. See the CIFE website for more information. These clearances take 6-8 weeks to secure. Registration will conclude on April 1. For more information, and to pre-register, email Johnson at

— By Andy Elder (January 2013)