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COE’s Student Success Center sees growth in SOAR numbers

Pictured above is the SOAR session hosted June 23 for transfer students.


The College of Education (COE) recently hosted 52 transfer students during Georgia Southern University’s transfer student orientation.

The largest group of transfer students that the College has seen since 2010, COE’s Student Success Center Director, Chris Thompson, says that recruiting the transfer population takes steady years of work.

“The groundwork was laid a few years ago for recruiting and working with transfer students, and we have continued to build on that foundation,” Thompson said. “It is really starting to show some payoff, as our transfer numbers grew over 50% from 2016 to 2017.”

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Recent alumna named Paraprofessional of the Year by Georgia CEC

Meghan Rosser

Meghan Rosser (‘17) was near the completion of an undergraduate degree in psychology when she realized her calling. While working as a preschool teacher and completing her bachelor’s degree, Rosser discovered that she wanted to work in the special education field.

“I loved being with all of my students, but I felt especially drawn to my students with exceptionalities,” said Rosser. “There was one little boy with autism that stole my heart in particular. It was that period in my life that I realized my passion for special education.”

Rosser began the online Master of Arts in Teaching in special education degree program through Georgia Southern University. While completing her master’s, Rosser accepted a position with Gwinnett County Public Schools to assist in a kindergarten through second grade classroom that was designed for students with mild autism.

“This position enabled me to complete my degree requirements while giving me the invaluable hands-on experience working with children with exceptionalities and offering the opportunity to become familiar with all the procedural work required in special education,” said Rosser.

In this position, Rosser says she met the “most talented teacher,” Samantha Sardone.

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School psychology students begin internship training

Ed.S. School Psychology Candidates

For the 2017-2018 academic year, 13 students from the school psychology program will begin their internship training in late summer.

“School psychology internship training is a year-long experience in which students work in the K-12 public school settings under the supervision of a certified school psychologist employed in the school system,” explained Terry Diamanduros, Ph.D., professor of school psychology. “Interns deliver a variety of school psychological services and must acquire a minimum of 1,200 hours during their internship training.”  

While most of the upcoming interns have accepted positions in Georgia, two students will be completing internship requirements in North Carolina and New Jersey.

Students who will begin internship training include: Caitlin Barkley, Katherine Bruce, Morgan Truett Craft, Megan Economos, Jessica Flowers, Dan Haskett, Ikeria Hicks, Charlee Hogan, Julianna Hudson, Jesse Raymond, Kayla Simonds, Cassidy Stine and Brittney Summerville.

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COE welcomes first cohort of M.A.T. early childhood education students

First cohort of the new M.A.T. early childhood education degree program.


On June 9-11, the newly created Masters of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) in early childhood (P-5) education welcomed its first cohort of students during a weekend retreat.

Hosted on Georgia Southern University’s campus, the retreat allowed students and faculty an opportunity to meet each other and work face-to-face before beginning the completely online coursework.

“This is something we decided to do for this M.A.T. program because it would allow students who will be communicating at a distance over the next two years to bond with us and each other,” said Associate Professor Katie Brkich, Ph.D. “The retreat also allowed us to begin introducing the students to some of the major ideas behind culturally relevant pedagogy that are very personal and not easily done online until one becomes comfortable with the people with whom one is working digitally.”

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School psychology alumnus named president of state organization

Brannon Parks, Ed.S.

On July 1, College of Education alumnus Brannon Parks (‘05,’07) began serving as president of the Georgia Association of School Psychologists (GASP).

A graduate of the master’s and specialist school psychology degree programs at Georgia Southern University, Parks is employed as a school psychologist at Chattahoochee-Flint RESA.

While in graduate school, Parks was the University’s student representative on the GASP executive board and has had an active role on the board since his graduation, serving in multiple capacities including secretary, region 8 representative, Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE) liaison, chair of the GASP scholarship committee and legislation chairperson.

The mission of the GASP is to provide school psychologists in Georgia with the highest level of support and professional training so that they can remain effective in a dynamic educational environment. The association is the only state professional organization representing the field and profession of school psychology.

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