July 2023

College of Education & Professional Studies Newsletter

JSU Announces Scholarship Program for P-12 Educators

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By Brett Buckner

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.

CEPS Student is FCCLA Conference Winner

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The JSU FCS Department has a history making National Champion! The first Post-Secondary student from Alabama to compete on the national level, Miss Elise Mayberry FCS Education major from Arab placed 1st in the nation at the FCCLA National Leadership Conference in her Career Investigation Event. We are so very proud of Elise Mayberry and how she has represented Jacksonville State University in Denver.

Congratulations Elise!!!! Your Gamecock family is proud of you!

Students Achieve Google Certification

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Congratulations to our incredible pre-service teachers who have achieved their Google Certification Level 1! Your dedication and hard work in mastering Google tools is impressive! This accomplishment will undoubtedly make a positive impact on your future classrooms, as you bring innovation and technology to enhance learning experiences. #GoogleCertified

ABC's of computer science

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Congratulations to CEPS former student and 2023 CEPS Alumni Hall of Fame Inductee - Mrs. Ashlee Elliott! Mrs. Elliott's book, The ABCs of Computer Science, is LIVE on Amazon!


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The Regional Inservice Center got to dream and make plans for a wonderful year of STEM activities for the students of Pell City Schools!

Community Garden Harvest

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Dr. Joseph Akpan shows off some of the harvest from the community garden. Dr. Larry Beard estimated at the end of June over 600 lbs of vegetables had been donated to the Christian Outreach Center.


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Dr. Christie Calhoun and Sunshine Williamson taught students at College for Kids about vegetables and how they grow. They brought in lots of examples like cabbage, beets, potatoes, radishes, and a corn stalk from Trantham Farms! After reading about vegetables that grow above and below the ground in Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens, students used folded pieces of paper and crayons to illustrate how their favorite veggies grow. Some even designed their perfect garden with all of their favorite things.

Great fun was had by all, and the students said their favorite part was seeing the corn stalk!

JSU tours Anniston Army Depot Facility

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Several JSU employees enjoyed a tour of the Anniston Army Depot recently. Those touring from the CEPS were Dean Kimberly White, Dr. Christie Calhoun, Mrs. Rebecca Williams, and Ms. Maria Hayes.

Staff Spotlight - Mrs. Amiee Thrasher, CEPS Senior Lead Advisor

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I grew up in Calhoun County and graduated from Saks High School. I am a two-time graduate of JSU with a BA in Political Science/Criminal Justice and a master’s degree in Elementary Education. I previously taught school for 8 ½ years before coming to JSU. At JSU I have worked in the Academic Center of Excellence and Admissions before coming into the advisor role. I currently serve CEPS as the Senior Lead Advisor through JSU’s Student Success Advising Initiative. I love my role as an advisor and helping to guide students as they work toward their goal of becoming a teacher. I feel like previously working as a teacher gives me an insight to help students prepare for things they may encounter in their career.

I currently reside in Centre, Alabama with my husband Rusty, who is a retired school administrator and my two children Hannah- a 2023 JSU graduate with a BS in Special Education, my son Hunter-a current student here at JSU majoring in History, and Malli-our chocolate lab. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family, vacationing in the mountains, reading, and watching True Crime.


It’s been a short summer since the CEPS has been busy moving to our new location at 115 College Street, SW. JSU resident assistants are already using the resources of the Instructional Services Unit. We are moved in and busily unpacking to be ready for students in a few weeks! Drop by and visit us!
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