Pathways for Future Educators is a College of Education undergraduate community that provides resources, referrals, support, and collegiality for students pursuing a teaching credential. A dedicated space is maintained in 104 Porter, where students access computers, printers, a copy machine, library materials, friendship, and food. Monthly meals with guests and speakers provide content, referrals, and mutual support.
In Fall 2021 there are 82 education-intent students enrolled as members of Pathways. There are also more than a dozen students who have “stopped out” (i.e., temporarily leave school) but maintain contact with the director, as they plan their return to EMU. The College of Education provides office space, staffing, compensation for mileage on school visits, and promotional pieces for students, such as t-shirts, backpacks, and journals.
Some Pathways participants are Education Ambassadors, who serve the community at large. These are work study employees as well as volunteers. In Fall 2021 there are six work study students engaged as ambassadors, who are supervised by the director. Ambassadors serve at COE open houses, orientations, and campus visits to welcome new students and to share insights about succeeding in college. High school counselors and teachers invite the ambassadors to speak with groups of students or to represent EMU at college or career fairs.
Partnerships with local school districts provide referrals from counselors and teachers of juniors and seniors interested in a teaching career. The director establishes and maintains contact with incoming students to welcome them and assist in their transition to college. Schools/districts agree to guarantee the qualified EMU graduate a job interview when they apply for a school/district position. There are currently seventeen (17) partner schools/districts contributing to the program and to future teachers.
Additional funding for Pathways would be used for:
- Student stipends ($250 to $500 per semester) for volunteer participation as Education Ambassadors;
- Scholarships to incentivize students pursuing their career goal of becoming teachers. The scholarships start at $350 for the first two semesters; $450 for the second two semesters; $550 for the third two semesters; and $650 for the fourth two semesters;
- Support for community activities, such as meals and speakers in the amounts of $500 to $750 per year.