Posted on Thursday, November 17, 2011
Eight Westminster College senior elementary education majors and two faculty from Westminster's Department of Education participated in the Pennsylvania Council for Exceptional Children annual conference Nov. 3-4 in Harrisburg.
Dr. Linda Domanski, associate professor of education, and students Jillian Babish and Caitlin Lehberger gave a presentation on "Embedding Low Incidence Practicum Experiences." They described how opportunities to work with students who were identified as having special needs were built into Westminster's teacher preparation program, with an emphasis on serving students who have autism and other less frequently occurring types of disabilities.
"We talked about challenges, differentiated teaching techniques and management systems used in the classrooms, and some of the benefits we received from being placed in these types of settings," Babish said.
"Although we presented to a small group of professional educators, the experience was beneficial," Lehberger said. "Having two education majors sharing their experiences helped provide real-life examples of how pre-service teacher candidates actually worked in the classroom and demonstrated how well Westminster's education program prepared us."
Babish and Lehberger received travel/presentation grants from Westminster's Drinko Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning to attend the conference.
Also attending from Westminster were Jane Dean, adjunct education faculty and co-adviser to the campus chapter of the Council for Exceptional Children, and students Kristen Edwards, Kristen Fedon, Erica LaMantia, Lauren Latinovich, Kristin Sibeto, and Mallory Woods.
Approximately 200 conference participants attended workshops and heard a keynote presentation from Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Ron Tomalis.
Contact Domanski at (724) 946-7182 or email for additional information.
The Drinko Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning was created to enrich undergraduate education at Westminster through advancing world-class teaching as well as by participating in collaborations that address community and regional needs including strengthening K-12 education. The Undergraduate Research Initiative provides funding for students to conduct research and to present their research at regional and national conferences. Click here for more information about the Drinko Center and its programs.