Early Learning Community Provides Innovative Education for Both Children and Aspiring Teachers

Students playing in the Early Learning Community

When students in Pacific University's one-year master of arts in teaching program need classroom experience, they don't have far to go.

The Pacific University College of Education offers a unique path for aspiring teachers with its fifth-year MAT program on the Forest Grove Campus. During that year of study, MAT students gain first-hand teaching experience by engaging with children and master teachers in a number of school environments, including the Early Learning Community right on Pacific's campus.

In March 2018, Forest Grove News-Times reporter Olivia Singer visited with ELC director Mark Bailey and student teacher Sam Cauthorn last week to learn more about the ELC and the unique development opportunities for aspiring teachers.

"I think we are rather unique," Bailey told the News-Times. "We have had a really positive impact on children's education here in Forest Grove."

The incorporation of college students studying to be educators, he added, is a large part of that impact.

Through Pacific’s master of arts in teaching fifth-year program, students holding a bachelor’s degree in any discipline can earn an initial teaching license in one year. During that year of study on Pacific’s Forest Grove Campus, MAT students gain first-hand teaching experience by engaging with children and master teachers at the ELC, the college’s on-site preschool through second-grade school. 

Several years out of college with a bachelor's degree in hand, Cauthorn was working near the Pacific campus when he saw a sign to apply to pursue a career in teaching. He began the program less than a year ago and will be licensed to teach K-12 education when he graduates from the program later this spring.

Those interested in more information, including how to apply for Pacific’s MAT fifth-year program, are encouraged to contact Diana Watkins at 503-352-1435 or teach@pacificu.edu.

Mar. 21, 2018