November 18, 2011
Writer: Writer: Scott Haycock

Brigham Young University-Idaho and 22 grade schools from four states are now teaming up to help education majors get one step closer to reaching their future careers.

Since launching last winter semester, the Partner School Program has increased the quality of students' learning experience by evaluating the student teaching experience through ongoing communication and regular feedback. The program is a constant two-way communication from BYU-Idaho to the school districts and from the districts to the university. With accurate and timely feedback, BYU-Idaho faculty members on campus can provide support and assistance to student teachers in the field.  Also, the department can learn how well our students are prepared, become more aware of school districts' needs, and what school districts require of their employees.

"This program allows our students to better prepare for their chosen field," said Kevin Stanger, chair of the Department of Education. "We are getting a realistic idea of what schools expect from their teachers. And school districts love the program because they are getting students that know exactly what is required of them. Because of this our students are more employable once they graduate."

This semester six schools were added to the Partner School Program. The feedback for the program continues to be very positive. "I have been very impressed and feel that BYU-Idaho students are a perfect fit for my school. This program has had a great effect on our school," said Mike Oliver, principal of Zaharis Elementary in Mesa, Ariz.