University of South Alabama, Office of Public Relations

July 21, 2005
Contact: Joy Washington, USA Office of Public Relations, (251) 460-6638

USA Announces New Educator-in-Residence Program

University of South Alabama College of Education Unveils New Program - From left, USA President Gordon Moulton, 2005-2006 Educator-in-Residence Barbara Freeman; Mobile County Public School Superintendent Dr. Harold Dodge; and Dean of the USA College of Education Dr. Richard Hayes, announce the new Educator-in-Residence Program, established to foster greater collaboration between higher education faculty at USA and their partners in public education.
The College of Education at the University of South Alabama has unveiled its new Educator-in-Residence Program, established to foster greater collaboration between USA College of Education faculty and preschool through 12th grade faculty.

"This wonderful program is a bridge between the University and our public school partners," explained Dr. Richard L. Hayes, dean of the USA College of Education. "We are pleased to announce that USA alumna Barbara Freeman, a recently retired educator with the Mobile County Public School System, will serve as the first USA Educator-in-Residence."

Freeman, who retired with 28 years in the Mobile County Public School System, was a kindergarten and first-grade teacher. She developed and coordinated the Renzulli Triad Enrichment Model at Leinkauf Elementary, which was created by Joseph Renzulli to provide enhanced educational enrichment programs for gifted students. She also served as an elementary school principal at Tanner Williams, Council Traditional and, most recently, E.R. Dickson.

Freeman received her master's degree in education and administrative certificate from USA. She is very active in the community and served on the Mobile Symphony Board for five years. During her tenure, she helped create and develop the partnership between the Mobile Symphony and Mobile and Baldwin County schools to supplement music education and provide strings instruction for grades three through five.

According to Hayes, Freeman will work with USA faculty in the department of leadership and teacher education for 12 months to strengthen supervision of USA teacher candidates. In addition, she will assist in the further development and implementation of a mentoring program for the induction of new faculty in area schools.

"The preparation of today's teachers requires that we-the University and the public schools-embrace each other to share successes as well as challenges," Freeman said. "The final product will be to graduate effective, confident new teachers who understand both the 'craft' and 'art' of teaching.

"As the Educator-in-Residence, I look forward to working with the University and the Mobile County Public School System to take a great teacher preparation program and make it extraordinary."

Hayes said the Educator-in-Residence Program is necessary because it provides resources and special opportunities for learning for both students and faculty in public schools.

"Recognizing that 85 percent of Mobile and Baldwin County educators have a degree or an administrative or teacher certification from USA," Hayes noted, "places a special responsibility on the College to support the continued professional development of our graduates as well as to enlist their expertise in keeping our faculty responsive to emerging issues in the local schools."

"As University faculty, we are aware of the value of a partnership that gives practicing educators the opportunity to work alongside University colleagues in their context of teaching, research and service," Hayes said. "This collaboration provides practitioners a unique insight into how the University prepares future teachers, administrators, counselors and other education professionals, while also encouraging their direct involvement in the development and implementation of the professional curriculum."

Each year, practicing school-based professionals can apply to the Educator-in-Residence Program. Residents must meet the following criteria:

  • Approved for professional leave or its equivalent by the Superintendent of the Resident's school district;
  • Possess exemplary professional experience and working in a school setting, preschool through 12th grade;
  • Serve as liaison to teachers, other school personnel, schools and the district during and immediately following the period of the residency;
  • Willing and competent to teach university courses in their areas of specialization during the period of the residency;
  • Exhibit active research interests that can be enhanced by a sustained period of study and reflection;
  • Committed to extend the work of their residency back in their school/district

Hayes said the Educator-in-Residence Program is currently funded by the USA College of Education. "Overall, we hope to have business partners in the future who will assist the College of Education in funding the Educator-in-Residence Program," Hayes said. "This program--designed to provide time for reflection, experimentation and sustained learning for the Resident and the school district it serves--is a true vehicle for professional development that can transform habits of teaching and learning in schools, universities, and their communities."

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