School of Education and Counseling
Faculty members and candidates of Purdue University Northwest’s School of Education and Counseling seek to enhance educational and social outcomes within northwest Indiana and beyond. Through innovative teaching, research, and outreach activities, candidates engage in authentic experiences that prepare them to understand, embrace, and address the multifaceted needs of individuals, leading to eligibility for licensure as educators or professional counselors.
Community Change Agents
Placed in more than 11 school districts and 35+ schools, centers and cooperatives, School candidates make a tremendous impact on local communities.
Experiences range from STEM collaborations with the Challenger Learning Center of Northwest Indiana to lesson creation and implementation at Bellaboo’s Play and Discovery Center; from individual literacy tutoring sessions in Michigan City Schools to interaction with exceptional learners in special education cooperatives; from re-imagining secondary education at Hammond Academy of Science and Technology to working alongside teachers and families in the Gary Community School Corporation to change educational direction.
Graduate program candidates engage in community-based learning opportunities while developing and refining their knowledge and practice. PNW’s new Community Counseling Center near the Hammond campus provides internship and counseling experiences for clinical mental health and school counseling candidates.
Further, graduate candidates seeking licensure in exceptional needs with mild or intensive options are able to access coursework wherever they are in Indiana through an interactive online delivery model. These candidates work with faculty members designing tailored learning and field experiences.
Mentoring For Improvement
Mentors play an important part in the success of School candidates. Building off the PNW Pride mascot, the School is creating “prides” within each program area. Each “pride” begins during candidates’ first-year experience course and is led by a faculty member who “loops” with the candidates through their four-year learning experience of becoming an educator.
Faculty members meet regularly with their “pride” to discuss issues of concern and needs, how to best address them, and to encourage School and campus engagement.
Faculty members also encourage candidates to participate in scholarly endeavors. More than 20 undergraduates presented their research this year. Similarly, more than 15 counseling program candidates participated in the PNW Assembly for Counseling and Drug Education.
New Approaches, New Solutions
The School’s Prospective Educational Leaders (PEL) Fellowship Program addresses the shortage of substitute teachers locally while providing instructional experiences, professional growth opportunities and employment for PNW candidates. PEL Fellows work in schools engaging students through teaching, small group instruction, enrichment and intervention.
Finally, the School and the School City of Hobart, in conjunction with PNW’s Office of Concurrent Enrollment Programs, are developing Pathways to Teaching. This program provides high school students a means for utilizing their concurrent enrollment credits to enter a PNW educator preparation program.