Last updated: January 29. 2014 1:27PM - 276 Views

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Galena’s Kelsie Zak and Karlie Zak, 2010 graduates of Big Walnut High School, have headed down to the southern United States for a semester of student-teaching as part of Ashland University’s Southern Internship Exchange Program.

Kelsie and Karlie Zak, who are majoring in Intervention Specialist, are both student-teaching in Charleston County, South Carolina.

The Zaks, along with approximately 30 Ashland students, gathered in the Schar College of Education building on Wednesday, January 15, prior to leaving campus for their student-teaching semester.

Most of these students are headed for warmer weather and more sunshine in school districts in various parts of South Carolina and Florida as part of Ashland’s Southern Internship Exchange Program. Several of the students are traveling overseas to Australia, South Africa and New Zealand as part of the Consortium of Overseas Teaching (COST) program.

“The Southern Internship Exchange program gives our teacher education students the option of taking their student-teaching semester at locations in South Carolina and Florida, and allows the students to live with host families to keep costs lower,” said Dr. James Van Keuren, dean of the Dwight Schar College of Education.

Joe Hendershott, director of field experiences and internships at Ashland, said the Southern Internship Exchange Program has been very popular among students in Ashland’s undergraduate teacher education program, which is the largest academic program on campus. The program has been NCATE accredited since 1973.

In addition to being popular because of the warmer weather in the south, the program opens up additional job opportunities for students graduating with teacher education degrees.

“An Ohio teaching degree, paired with the exchange program, can open students to job opportunities in high-growth areas,” Hendershott said. “Growth in these southern states, paired with what amounts to a seven-week job interview, gives a student with an Ashland University education degree real mobility and a career advantage.”

Even in a tight job market, Hendershott encourages prospective students to consider the University’s nationally recognized Teacher Education Program because “there are always jobs for excellent teachers.”

Ashland University’s Dwight Schar College of Education is recognized as a leader in teacher education in Ohio and throughout the Midwest. Ashland’s Teacher Education Program offers pre-K through doctorate level courses and all of Ashland’s education programs – undergraduate, master of education, doctor of education and professional development services – are recognized on a state and national basis.

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