Education majors, both traditional undergraduate students and adults in the master of education and superintendent certification programs, comprise a large percentage of Concordia’s enrollment. And one thing that Concordia seems to do very well is give these future educators many opportunities to learn from practical experience.
For special education students, opportunities abound. Concordia partners with Leander Independent School District (LISD) to host the SELF 30 program aimed at providing special needs students ages 18-22 from LISD with a chance to attend school in a college setting and hone skills they need to be successful in life.
“SELF 30 students are a part of CTX,” said Sharon Whightsil, a Concordia student and education major. “SELF kids learn what it’s like to be in college but also learn independence.”
Education majors are required to do five hours of field work with the SELF30 program, but many volunteer for much more. In fact, that experience is what prompted Whightsil to pursue a career in special education.
“These kids are not sheltered from reality,” said Whightsil, on having the SELF 30 program on Concordia’s campus. “They attend classes, chapel, and interact with students daily. Aline (the SELF 30 director) was the catalyst for me joining the special education program.”
Special education majors also benefit from travel courses. In May, a group of five students traveled to California and Nevada with Professor Cari Chittick to observe special education programs in Lutheran schools. It was an especially interesting experience for students pursuing a Lutheran Teaching Diploma to become a rostered teacher in the Lutheran school system.
“It’s our goal to be able to start something like that here,” said Joel Schildwachter, a student studying special education.
Chittick says these opportunities happen from networking and getting involved in the community. And they have been blessed with many opportunities to use classroom education in practical situations.
“You never know how God is going to call and use you,” said Kendall Ainsley, a student in Chittick’s class.
To learn more about these programs, visit
CTX – Houston Center will launch its latest M.Ed specialization, a Masters in Curriculum & Instruction with Teaching Certificate, in the spring of 2012. This program will allow students teaching in a private school or with a Bachelor’s Degree inanother discipline to earn their master’s degree and Texas teaching certification simultaneously.
Beginning in Spring 2012, CTX- DFW Center will add the Superintendent’s Certification Program to its graduate education offerings. This program is designed for individuals already holding a Master’s degree who wish to obtain Texas Superintendent Certification. Superintendent Certification programs are also offered at Austin’s North Lamar Center, Houston Center and San Antonio Centers.
The Concordia University Texas – San Antonio Center is pleased to announce the introduction of two new programs for the San Antonio education community. New programs include a new master’s degree with initial teacher certification. This program is ideal for the professional with a degree in an area other than education who wishes to enter the teaching profession. It is a two-year program and includes student teaching as its capstone course.
Another new program is the Superintendent Certificate Program. This program is offered to those educators with a master’s degree and administrative experience who wish to become school district superintendents. The Superintendent Certificate Program is a one-year program with an internship.
CTX- San Antonio will continue offering the masters level programs in advanced literacy, curriculum and instruction, and educational administration with an attached principal’s certification, as well as a principal certification program for those educators who already possess a master’s degree in education and wish to add the principal certificate to their resume.
For more information on the master’s of education programs offered at all locations, click here.
Concordia University Texas graduate student Erika Stevens was invited to sing “God Bless America” in the 7th inning stretch of the 4th game of the World Series on Oct. 23.
“It was exciting to be part of a winning game,” said Stevens, 46, who performed before a live crowd of 55,000 people at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. “The crowd, the cameras. It was exciting and scary all at the same time. The next morning I woke up (and thought) ‘Did I I dream that or did it really happen?”
Stevens, a vocalist in the Texas Air National Guard military band, received an invitation to sing at the game after her commander urged her to submit a recording to the Texas Rangers. The Rangers were looking for a representative from the military to sing “God Bless America.” A celebrity would be chosen to sing the national anthem, she explained. Steven’s invitation came just two days before the actual game.
“I was sitting at my desk at school when my phone rang,” Stevens said. “It was the Rangers calling. I almost passed out.”
The weekend was a whirlwind of activity in preparation for the Sunday game. The Rangers gave her tickets to four choice seats.
After her performance, Stevens changed out of her uniform and re-joined her sister and two friends in the 18th section of the stadium. She said reaction from her circle of acquaintances was immediate. “I got 19 text messages between the time I changed clothes and got back to my seat.”
Erika Stevens is in the Masters of Education program at Concordia University Texas’ Dallas-Fort Worth center. She will graduate in August 2012 with a specialization in Advanced Literacy. In addition to her role in the Texas Air National Guard, she teaches music at Leslie A. Stemmons and N.W. Hadllee elementary schools in the Dallas Independent School District.
Stevens’ performance at the World Series game can be viewed here.
Deandra Wright, 2008 graduate of Concordia, was selected Winderemere Elementary Teacher of the Year 2011. She teaches 4th grade in Pflugerville ISD.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010, Dr. Joanne Antrim’s Advanced Techniques in Reading students and Andrew Chapin’s sixth grade students at Hampstead Hill Academy in Baltimore, Maryland spent some time together. Earlier in the semester Andrew, a Concordia Texas 2010 graduate, and a teacher with the Teach America program, contacted Dr. Antrim to ask if his sixth grade students could, using Skype technology, have some of their questions about reading and college answered. The questions from the Hampstead Hill students were sent in advance and the Concordia students each chose a question that was answered “live” and also told the sixth graders the title of their favorite book and why they liked it. There were cheers from Baltimore as the students recognized many of the books the Concordia students enjoyed. The Concordia education students gave the sixth graders insights into college life and were wonderful role models for these future college students.
Andrew Chapin, May 2010 graduate, was selected to participate in Teach for America. He double- majored in History and Secondary Curriculum with an 8-12 Social Studies specialization. In June 2010, Andrew traveled to Philadelphia for 5 weeks of training before starting his teaching career at Hampstead Hill Academy, a Title I Charter school, part of the Baltimore City school system. He will teach 6th grade English and Social Studies. As part of his 2 years with the Teach for America program, Andrew will work on his Masters degree through John Hopkins University.