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John Carroll University excels in providing hands-on, experiential learning opportunities that take students outside the classroom. JCU offers several degree paths applying this strategy to position graduates as leaders in classrooms, schools, and districts around Ohio. John Carroll’s Department of Education has three undergraduate programs leading to teacher licensure. By incorporating Jesuit values in these programs, JCU empowers educators with a deep understanding of cura peronalis, a Latin phrase meaning “care for the whole person.” This fundamental Jesuit belief aids JCU education graduates to serve students in all facets of their growth; intellectual, moral, and social. Ultimately, a John Carroll education degree provides prospective teachers the tools to make a difference in the classroom, community, and beyond. 


John Carroll’s education programs epitomize the university's efforts toward experiential learning. From the first course until graduation, students spend hundreds of hours in local classrooms preparing to lead future generations of students. This portion of the curriculum is an invaluable resource for prospective educators. “The field portion of the curriculum is essential to living out our commitment to a faith that does justice,” says Dr. Dan Reynolds, assistant professor in the JCU Department of Education. “Every day, JCU teacher candidates encounter students from all backgrounds and walks of life, and they have to design instruction to meet them where they are.”



First-year students take part in several field experiences to determine the education program they intend to pursue. JCU’s Department of Education offers three tracks toward teacher licensure. Primary education develops teaching skills for pre-school through fifth-grade students. The middle childhood education major prepares teachers for grades four through nine. This major requires specialized training in two of the following areas: language arts, math, science, and social studies. The Adolescent/Young Adult (AYA) major prepares prospective teachers to work with students in grades seven through twelve. Students in the AYA program work toward earning licensure in one of the four areas of instruction mentioned above. Seniors in each of the three programs will take part in a “clinical year”, which includes the capstone student teaching internship. This is the culmination of applying coursework and fieldwork in a classroom, earning the required hours for licensure. 


Throughout the entire process, students gain non-teaching life skills while they witness the education system at work. Students in the field see first-hand how educators must navigate the inner working of district politics. They understand the importance of addressing and discussing social issues with students. Most importantly, student field experiences foster strong leadership traits which are nearly impossible to develop through coursework alone. “Our department’s mission is to prepare educational leaders,” says Dr. Reynolds, “both in the classroom and beyond.”  Many JCU graduates are serving as principals, leaders of charter networks, and as superintendents in Ohio public school districts.



School districts nationwide are dealing with a shortage of educators. According to a national survey by the RAND Corporation, this trend could continue as one in four teachers may leave their job by the end of the year. Fewer college students choosing majors to become a teacher is exacerbating this shortage. Research from the Fordham Institute determined education was third among the top 10 intended majors in 2008, but by 2012 had dropped to eighth place, where it remains. The current shortage provides a silver lining for prospective educators. Because the demand for teachers is far greater than the current supply, graduates may have several job offers to sift through after graduation. The current shortage is also creating an argument to pay educators more. Fifteen states are currently in the process of proposing legislation to raise public school teacher salaries. 


John Carroll University is working to face these challenges head-on. The Department of Education is strategically preparing well-equipped future classroom leaders. Training and education rooted in Jesuit tradition provide JCU graduates the opportunity to do more than teach. They will empathize, instill confidence, and inspire future generations to nurture their whole person - mind, body, and soul.