Columbia College partners with public and private schools in Boone County

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 | 4:56 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — Columbia College signed an agreement with several Boone County schools Wednesday afternoon, creating a partnership between the college and each school.

College education majors now can be placed in the classrooms at these schools to gain clinical field experience, said Marsha Knudsen, director of field placement at Columbia College.

In return, teachers who mentor Columbia College students may take master's-level courses for free.

The addition of these schools extends the college's partnerships to all public and private schools in Boone County, according to a news release from the college.

The schools in the new agreement are:

  • Fr. Tolton Regional Catholic High School
  • Ridgeway Elementary
  • Douglass High School
  • All Centralia public schools
  • All levels of Columbia Independent Schools

"The addition of these schools expands the opportunities of future teachers," Knudsen said.

Columbia College has had partnerships of this nature with Columbia schools since 2009, Knudsen said.

The addition of private schools and an alternative high school increases the types of schools in which students can be placed.

"The diversity offered gives a tremendous variety of options," Knudsen said.

The program places more than 500 students from Columbia College in the schools each year.

The program begins from the first education courses and continues until students do their student teaching, Knudsen said.

By the time students get to the student teaching, they have already logged several hundred hours of field experience. Students may also observe and assist teachers.

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