Central College will expand the Central Teacher Academy (CTA) to partner with Pella Christian schools this fall thanks to the generous support of two anonymous, long-time friends of the college.
The $25,000 gift will enhance the CTA program, which already works with Pella Community Schools, and provide students with the opportunity to gain experience teaching at a private, Christian school.
“We are grateful for the support to connect our Central students with Pella Christian Grade School students and teachers,” said Mary Strey, vice president of academic affairs. “This gift enables us to extend our 13-year partnership between the Central Teacher Academy and Pella Community Schools to include the Pella Christian Grade School.”
The CTA, which began in 1999, is a program for Central College education students to work in a collaborative model for prospective teacher preparation. Admission to the program requires a 2.70 grade point average (4.0 scale), completion of several pre-admission courses in education and letters of recommendation from professionals in the field. Students in the program progress through a developmentally designed program of coursework, field experiences and student teaching.
Students who join the program report an increased sense of competency as they enter student teaching assignments during their senior year. They also use their CTA placements as research or field-testing sites for academic assignment. Mindi Kacmarynski ‘93 was recently hired as the CTA coordinator and begins work in August.
Last year, more than 70 Central students—at program capacity—were partnered with a teacher in the Pella Community School District. The number of students interested in the program has more than tripled in 13 years. The teacher serves as a professional mentor for students for three years.