Published on April 11, 2014 by Myrtis Johnson  

Samford University's School of Education and Career Development Center co-hosted the annual teacher education interview day April 10 to help connect students with potential employers.

The event provided the opportunity for teacher education students to meet several school representatives in one day, in one location, according to Myrtis Johnson, coordinator of clinical experiences. More than 70 current seniors and recent alumni participated, and  26 schools, school systems, or educationally-related employers were represented.

"After the interview day, all anxieties about my post-graduation endeavors have diminished," said Mandy Jayne Stanley, a senior teacher education major. "The education department has carried me along my path towards becoming an effective educator from the moment I stepped foot in the door, and they are even continuing with their assistance as I step out into the world after May."

"It is an honor for recruiters from different school systems and non-profit agencies to come interview our student teachers for jobs in the upcoming school term," said Johnson. "This event has proven to be worthwhile for all those involved."
Brent Latta, career and job search counselor in the Career Development Center, coordinated the event for students who are obtaining a degree in education, either a master's degree or bachelor's degree, and who have completed their student teaching or are currently doing so. According to Latta, the event benefits both students and school systems as it provides opportunities for them to meet at a convenient time and setting.

"The representatives from the schools and school systems get maximum exposure to our soon-to-be graduates, with most recruiters interviewing anywhere between 5-15 students during the day," said Latta. "The students, on the other hand, receive a great deal of face time with actual decision-makers in the field including recruiters and principals."

Latta said though schools rarely offer jobs at this event due to the several step interview process required for a teaching post, about 75% of the students are asked to interview with the central office staff in the weeks following the event. Many of the remainder students are asked back over the summer.

"Anytime we can directly connect students with potential employers, we view it as an absolute positive. It's rare in most fields for this to happen, but thankfully, education is one where these types of events still routinely take place," said Latta. "We are so fortunate at Samford to have such excellent students in the School of Education."

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 66th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 104th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,683 students from 47 states and 19 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.