The Clemson University College of Education has awarded four graduate students its Teaching and Learning Online M.Ed. Award to recognize exemplary educators who show evidence and potential as leaders in their field. Leadership in the college’s teaching and learning department has recognized one graduate student from each of the M.Ed. program’s specializations with the award.
Lindsey Rega is the awardee from the M.Ed. program’s STEAM specialization. Rega said that as a high school teacher with a foundation in STEM fields, she pursued the program in order to create more authentic learning experiences for students that are more inclusive of the arts. The program has aided her in this goal, but it has also given her a broader perspective of education as she has worked with educators representing varying grade levels.
“The program has allowed me to consider the significance of a vertical alignment of learning experiences,” Rega said. “With the knowledge gained from this program, I plan to deepen my practice of supporting learners and leading others in my department, school and district at large.”
Celene Cervin is the awardee from the M.Ed. program’s Instructional Coaching specialization. She said she has enjoyed a highly introspective experience in the program, as she has learned more about herself as an educator along with the ways she can become a better teacher. Cervin said the program has delivered the high-quality graduate education she was seeking, and she looks forward to sharing her new knowledge and experience with other educators as an instructional coach.
“What I want to do most is create equity in education for the children in my community,” Cervin said. “There are many ways to go about tackling this enormous issue; however, I chose the path that lets me impact as many students as possible through coaching their teachers.”
Stephanie Miller is the awardee from the M.Ed. program’s Experiential Learning for Early Childhood specialization. Miller said the program has allowed her to grow as an early childhood educator because it highlights the importance of being up to date on current practices and legislation while simultaneously developing her leadership skills. She said the program has also boosted her confidence in the use of research-based practices she puts in place that provide various benefits for students and their families.
“Being a part of the online M.Ed. program has helped me develop my leadership skills and find my voice as an advocate,” Miller said. “Because my course work is constantly rooted in research, I am able to use that knowledge to help support my students, school and community.”
Shannon Hudgens is the awardee from the M.Ed. program’s Effective and Reflective Teaching specialization. He said he has relished the opportunity to learn how to be a more intentional and effective teacher. Hudgens said the topics covered, from structures of the developing brain to formative assessment techniques and standardized testing fundamentals, have been particularly insightful and interesting.
“I feel as though the world of effective teaching is finally coming into focus and that I’m getting better at helping students see and achieve their potential,” Hudgens said. “I also want to empower teachers to not only understand the jobs for which they have been hired, but also not miss opportunities because teachers need teaching, too.”
Students who were enrolled in their second semester of coursework could apply for the award by developing an essay discussing how they plan to use the expertise gained as part of their degree to develop as a leader in their field or educational setting. Applicants also provided a letter of support from an administrator, supervisor or colleague. Awardees will enjoy a $6,000 tuition reduction as part of the award recognition.
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