Education grads equipped for international influence
March 15, 2010
A number of recent graduates who have earned their bachelor’s degrees in education have been drawn to teach interculturally. Corban has young alumni teaching both publicly and privately on at least five continents. They educate confidently because their alma mater prepared them well for their positions in global settings.
Holly Stangle ’07 teaches sixth-grade language arts and social studies at International Community School in Bangkok, Thailand. She said, “The thing I most appreciate about Corban is their dedication to a biblically based education. Never for a moment was our faith separated from our studies. My college years definitely challenged me to think deeply about why I’m a teacher. Corban helped me understand the role that education plays in our world.”
In Africa, Jennifer Straw ’09 challenges students whose parents are missionaries to the Mwani people. “My classroom is a fun combination of an old-fashioned, one-room schoolhouse, a homeschool, and a typical American classroom,” she said.
She also reflected on her undergraduate work: “Through on-campus classes, off-campus practicum experiences, and assignments, I feel Corban prepared me to teach here in Mozambique.”
Director of Undergraduate Education Claudia Green said, “We have always had some grads who go to teach overseas. What I’m seeing is an increased opportunity to do so right after graduation.”
The visibility of international opportunities is notable at Corban. Alexis Berdeaux ’09 said, “As I progressed in the education program, I was often introduced to the possibility, and adventure, of teaching overseas. Because this option was constantly in front of me, I considered it right alongside the options of teaching at a Christian or public school in America.”
Berdeaux researched cross-cultural schools using missionaries from the College’s mission week, for example, as resources. She settled on William Carey Academy in Chittagong, Bangladesh.
Another young alumna, Janelle Peyton ’09, had similar undergraduate exposure to overseas opportunities. “My education at Corban provided the avenue into which I found my job to teach in Indonesia.” She described how she was introduced to representatives of Sekolah Pelita Harapan (SPH), a chain of Christian K–12 international schools, at a department-sponsored meeting.
Green said, “Administration of SPH in Indonesia are interested in having our students come because they are prepared with an emphasis on a biblical worldview — thus fitting with the mission of their schools — and they can teach in English.”
The education department has more contacts in several other countries as well, said Green, including the Philippines, Kenya, and China.
Peyton agrees with Stangle about the standout feature of Corban’s education program: “It fosters not only academic growth but deep spiritual integrity and a great desire to integrate God's truth into every action, word and lesson you share in your classroom, both in private schools and public alike. You are trained to be a steward of 30 children who will enter your classroom looking for the love of Christ to be extended to them openly. What a privilege!”
Learn more about the undergraduate education program.
By Jenny Hirschfelder, Staff Writer, Office of Marketing & Communications
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