Teton Science Schools will offer a new graduate student fellows program this fall.
The collaboration with Antioch University-New England will allow students to obtain a master’s in place-based education without leaving Jackson.
“What we’re most excited about is that this is really showcasing all the layers of learning and teaching that happen within our organization,” said Vice President of Educator Development Nikki Gamrath, who oversees the graduate program. “We’re really committed to sending effective place-based educators out into the world, and to do that you have to learn from master place-based educators. … We feel like this is a nice way to train teachers.”
Students spend their first year in the graduate program in Jackson but then have to go elsewhere — either the University of Wyoming or one of eight other partner schools that take credit transfers — for a second year if they want to complete their degree. Now, they’ll have the option to stay for more hands-on experience in TSS independent schools while taking online classes from Antioch.
Fellows will be mentored by independent school faculty as paid teachers’ assistants.
“The job description right now is wide open as far as what the independent schools’ needs might be,” Gamrath said. “That could mean co-teaching in a primary classroom, it could mean taking on learning specialist duties, it could mean filling in gaps wherever that might be on a daily basis.”
Fellows will earn a master’s in education through one year of field-based teaching and one year of classroom-based teaching. Students already in place to be 2019-20 fellows include graduate students Katie O’Connell and Brooks Taylor.