COE program educates Four Corners teachers
Upper Division Teacher Education Program housed at San Juan
Community College in Farmington has educated nearly 400 teachers
- most who now serve the Four Corners region.
began as a partnership between the Navajo Nation, UNM-Gallup
branch, Zuni Pueblo and state legislature as a three-year pilot
program in 1992. Nearly concurrent, then-UNM President Richard
E. Peck received a petition from the Farmington community requesting
a teacher education program.
College supported the initiative, offering classrooms, office
space and a part-time advisor.
Ph.D., UNM-Gallup faculty, worked with the college to set up
the program, commuting from Gallup to teach courses, hire faculty
and coordinate. In fall 1994, Denise Corcoran was hired to administer
the program. When the pilot program ended, the UNM College of
Education took the helm.
program has continued to grow, Corcoran said. Since
fall of 1997 we have graduated 257 students and I would say
we are close to having 400 graduates. We have three full-time
and ten adjunct faculty.
of students earn lower division credits from SJCC before pursuing
the UNM bachelors degree in elementary or secondary education.
A masters degree in elementary or secondary education
has also been offered since the fall of 2002.
students who enter our programs want to live and work in the
Four Corners area. They complete the teacher education program
and stay right here in the Four Corners, which is wonderful,
Corcoran said. They can do their student teaching anywhere
in the area.
faculty are drawn from elementary and secondary classrooms throughout
the region. At UNM, 18-21 methods courses are offered at the
undergraduate level each semester. Approximately four masters
level courses are now offered each semester.
can be fulfilled for graduate credit through distance education,
correspondence and summer institutes.
have a grant funded writing project in the summer for six graduate
credits. All tuition and books for participants were paid by
the grant this year. We are looking at bringing in a math and
science institute next year, Corcoran said.
students are admitted to the advanced degree program, which
is designed for teachers who want to remain in the classroom.
masters degree is for teachers who love teaching and who
want to learn better methods and share best practices,
Corcoran said. We are starting to see those who finished
the undergraduate program enter the graduate program. Its