Majors: Early Childhood Education (Certification)
Minor: Educational Studies (Non-certification) and Reading
Program Director: Virginia Wilcox Associate Professor of Education
Teacher preparation programs at Wesleyan are backed by a progressive philosophical perspective that places the learner at the core of the instructional decisions. Each program emphasizes meaningful, integrative, challenging, and active learning experiences that will enable pre-service teachers to enhance their content knowledge and instructional skills. We believe that the significance and meaningfulness of content is emphasized both in how it is presented to students and how it is developed through activities that fit the developmental characteristics and needs of the learner. Active learning requires reflective thinking and decision-making skills that will be useful to students both in and out of school.
Therefore, the central purpose of the teacher preparation programs at Wesleyan is to provide an environment for pre-service teachers to enhance their understanding of the needs and nature of the learner; construct learning; acquire, reflect upon, and use knowledge; and develop and implement instructional methods that make content meaningful, integrative, active, and challenging. For information about specific courses offered, please see our Academic Catalogue.
Early Childhood Education
The Early Childhood Education Program leading to the Bachelor of Arts degree is offered to students planning to teach in pre-kindergarten and primary grades (P-5). The program is designed to give a broad background of general professional courses to assist in developing the understandings and competencies essential to effective teaching. The major consists of 80 semester hours of education (professional development) and related course work. Students majoring in Early Childhood Education are automatically eligible to receive a minor in Reading as part of the required coursework.
Educational Studies Minor
The Educational Studies minor is designed for the student who has a general interest in the K-12 classroom at the Early Childhood, Middle Grades, or Secondary level. EDS minors are not required to be admitted to the Education Program in order to take upper level required curses. The minor does not lead directly to state certification, though it does prepare graduates to enter post-baccalaureate, alternative certification programs such as Georgia TAPP, offered by Regional Educational Service Agencies (RESA) throughout the state or an MAT (Master of Arts in Teaching initial certification) program.
Master of Education. Wesleyan College's newest graduate program, the Master of Education in Early Childhood Education, was approved by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) in October of 2009. The Master of Education (M.Ed.) has been designed by Wesleyan faculty to meet the needs of teachers in the middle Georgia and surrounding area and will add a significant component to Wesleyan’s graduate programming. The program is specifically designed around an educator’s academic calendar, offering course schedules convenient to a busy lifestyle so that working professionals can earn a graduate degree without disrupting their career momentum.
Students in the Education Program enjoy a wide range of field experiences. They are actively involved in public school classrooms in every education course at Wesleyan. Included in these experiences are observing students, volunteering as classroom assistants, planning and implementing lessons with groups of students, and student teaching, which is the culmination of professional field experiences and course competencies during the student’s senior year.
Outcomes & Post-graduate Opportunities
Wesleyan's excellent undergraduate programs empower women to become exemplary teachers; teachers who care about creating a wonderful learning environment that prepares children to change the world. Wesleyan alumnae have a great understanding of the important role educators play in not only the lives of their students, but in our collective future.
Wesleyan Women in Education are making a great impact here in Georgia, and across the country. They can be found as far away as Wichita teaching Exceptional Children, in North Carolina serving as a National Teaching Standards advisor to a sitting governor, and in Virginia teaching Math at a private boarding school. They’re winning awards -- like Betsy Bunte ’68 who won the 2002 Milliken National Teaching Award, Andria Magallano '95 who was named 2007 Bibb County Teacher of the Year, and Mary Eager’72 who was named 2001 Georgia Teacher of the Year.
They’re impacting children’s lives, like Melissa Malone ’92 who is a National Board Certified Teacher for hearing impaired children in South Carolina and Erica Herman ’02 who earned her Master of Science in Special Education from Johns Hopkins and now works with autistic children. Lauren Eckman ’04, who currently teaches at the Georgia Academy for the Blind, is pursuing a Master’s in Special Education at the University of Louisville. Ashley Wheelus ’05, who is teaching third grade in Conyers, recently graced the cover of the Professional Association of Georgia Educators New Teachers Guide.
Patrick Pritchard Professor of Education, Alumnae Chair of Education, and Center for Educational Renewal Director.
B.A. (History, Social Science for Secondary Education), B.S. (Liberal Arts) Eastern Mennonite College 1984; M.Ed. (Special Education) Clemson University 1987; Ph.D. (Curriculum and Instruction) Clemson University, Clemson 1998. My primary research interest is self-study and teacher identity in teacher education. Taylor Hall 117. email@example.com
Mae Sheftall Associate Professor of Education and PSC Liaison. B.A. (French and Secondary Education)
Spelman College 1968; M.Ed. (Elementary Education) University of South Alabama 1977; Ed.S. (Supervision and Curriculum) University of Georgia 1991; Ed.D. (Educational Leadership) University of Georgia 2000. My primary research interests include the effects of teacher efficacy and teacher expectations on student achievement. Other special interests include multiple intelligences, brain research, and children’s literacy development, especially reading and writing. Taylor Hall 115. firstname.lastname@example.org
Virginia B. Wilcox, Associate Professor of Education Ph.D Auburn University 2005. My primary interests include uncovering previously constructed misconceptions in math and science content in order to teach more conceptually and increase retention and application of concepts within young children. Taylor 116. email@example.com
Virginia Bowman Wilcox ’90 Honored as a Top 20 Education Professor in Georgia
Wesleyan College’s Associate Professor of Education, Dr. Virginia Wilcox has been named as a Top 20 Education Professor in Georgia by Online Schools in Georgia. Dr. Wilcox was honored for her commitment to teaching excellence and the constant improvement of student assessment and curriculum. She has demonstrated excellence in scholarship, research, teacher mentoring, and service to Wesleyan College and the community.
Dr. Wilcox earned her bachelor of arts degree in early childhood education at Wesleyan College and her master’s degree and PhD at Auburn University. Her research focuses on new conceptual ways to teach mathematics to young children.
“I am thrilled to be back at my alma mater giving back to the institution that started me on my professional path,” Dr. Wilcox said.