College of Education & Professional Studies Newsletter
SPECIAL SPOTLIGHT - STEAM SUMMER CAMP 2023
Our young innovators dove into the world of science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics with hands on experiments using logic and creativity.
Special thanks to Dr. Ahmad Alhammouri, Mrs. Aimee Weathers, and Ms. Kim Mitchell for all your hard work! Also - KUDOS to all the student helpers! It couldn't be done without you!
student spotlight - ms. elizabeth cummings!
I am Elizabeth Cummings from Roanoke, Alabama, and proud alumni of Jacksonville State University. I am a daughter, sister, and aunt to four beautiful children who inspire me to pursue my passion for education.
I received my Bachelor of Science in Education and recently became the 7th-grade Social Studies teacher at Gardner Newman Middle School in LaGrange, Georgia. Education engulfs my heart because all children, regardless of race, ability, gender, or socioeconomic background, deserve a safe and prosperous environment to achieve their personal greatness.
I was blessed with the opportunity provided by my advisors in Jacksonville State University's Education Program, who equipped me with the tools, knowledge, and authentic experience necessary to provide an equal experience to the upcoming generations. In the Spring, I plan to return to Jacksonville State University for my master's to further advance my passion for education in hopes of, one day, instructing future educators like myself.
Dr. Kyoko Johns and students participate in campus activity
JSU Announces Scholarship Program for P-12 Educators
When the first school bell rang last fall, the state estimated that Alabama classrooms were missing 1,500 teachers. Pointing to burnout and low salaries, teachers are leaving behind careers they were once passionate about – sparking a national teacher shortage.
Jacksonville State University, which was founded as a state teacher’s college in 1883, wants to help school employees advance their careers and stay in education. Beginning in Fall 2023, the university is offering a 20 percent tuition scholarship to those working in pre-K to 12th grade.
“With the high demand for P-12 teachers in our state and nationwide,” said Kelly Martin, director of enrollment initiatives, “we hope this scholarship will assist current teachers with furthering their education, encourage P-12 support staff to consider going back to school to pursue degrees in education and allow Jax State to do our part in combatting teacher shortages in Alabama.”
“The P-12 scholarship is an excellent opportunity for us to decrease the financial burden associated with becoming a professional educator or advancing in the field of education."
-- Dr. Kimberly S. White
The scholarship is exclusive to new or former JSU students, which includes those who have never attended the university and are newly admitted for Fall 2023, those who attended JSU as an undergraduate and are newly admitted for graduate school in Fall 2023 and former students who previously attended the university but have since gone inactive and are newly readmitted for Fall 2023.
“The P-12 scholarship makes earning an advanced degree more affordable and offers an opportunity for educators to retool themselves for other educational opportunities,” said Dr. Kimberly S. White, dean of the JSU College of Education and Professional Studies. “In many cases, an advanced degree leads to an increase in salary and helps to make the educator more marketable for a promotion.”
Dr. White said the scholarship is also intended to help school support staff transition into the classroom.
“The P-12 scholarship is an excellent opportunity for us to decrease the financial burden associated with becoming a professional educator or advancing in the field of education,” White said.
JSU has a rich history as a teacher’s college and a reputation for producing the best, first-day-ready educators.
“Offering this scholarship is one more way for us to serve our P-12 teachers,” Martin said, “and make sure that our school systems have the staff they need to continue to offer the best education possible for children in our state.”
For a complete list of requirements and eligibility criteria visit P-12 Educators - JSU.
STAFF SPOTLIGHT - MS. COURTNEY CHRISTOPHER
Originally from Woburn, Massachusetts, I have been in Jacksonville, Alabama for 13 years. I moved here to attend Jacksonville State University as an undergraduate. I am a two-time graduate of JSU (Jacksonville State University) having received my BS in Early Childhood/Elementary Education and my MS in Early Childhood Special Education. I taught pre-k at Kitty Stone Elementary in Jacksonville, AL, and first grade at Randolph Park Elementary School in Anniston, Alabama before making the transition into higher education.
In 2016, I came to work at Jax State as an Educational Technology Support Specialist with CORE, a US Department of Ed i3 grant focused on technology and professional development within the College of Education and Professional Studies. I absolutely love teaching children but, I found fulfillment in my role working with rural high school teachers from all over the country, developing PD, and impacting their classrooms forever. During that time, we were holding quarterly in-person CORE workshops, and CORE conference for local, regional teachers on campus at JSU. I became Director of Learning Technology, overseeing the grant work to completion.
When the grant ended in 2021, I made the move to CEPS (COLLEGE OF EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL STUDIES) as Director of Instructional Services. I genuinely love my role here. I am passionate about our students, technology, planning, JSU, education, and serving others. My current role encompasses all those things for me, and every day is a new challenge. I am blessed to be here at JSU playing a small part in the future of education.
In my free time, I spend time doing anything my two daughters, Caroline, and Molly, have going on. They keep us busy. I enjoy coaching their teams. They both play basketball, softball, volleyball, and cheer and are involved in many other activities. As a family, we enjoy spending time at the lake, traveling, supporting Gamecock athletics, and being outdoors. Personally, in my own time, I enjoy reading, visiting new places, working out, and music.