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WKU teacher education program’s international experiences discussed at NAFSA conference

Dr. Fred Carter, director of Teacher Services for WKU’s College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, made two presentations at the NAFSA International Annual Conference and Expo in St. Louis.

Dr. Carter’s presentations were a part of a Colloquium on Internationalizing Teacher Education that explored international experiential learning opportunities for pre-service teachers, such as student teaching abroad and short-term study tips. Dr. Carter described how he developed study-teach-abroad program with partners, the contribution of the programs to curricular and developmental goals, and reported his study of employment statistics.

International experiences are beneficial to future educators. U.S. teacher candidates who have studied abroad are highly sought out in the job market. In the spring of 2009, Dr. Carter conducted a study of employment statistics, and at that time, WKU had a 56 percent employment rate, which is about three times the national average. Of those who participated in an international student teaching segment, WKU had a 100 percent employment rate.

These experiences are often difficult to incorporate with tough course requirements, state certification and financial considerations. Colleges of education face serious challenges to providing sustainable international programs for their students. Approximately 10,000 university educators and administrators from around the world attended the NAFSA conference to discuss how to make these experiences a reality.

Contact: Dr. Fred Carter at (270) 745-4611.

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