Through the incredible generosity of former Samford University professors Carol and Joseph Dean, Orlean Beeson School of Education has established a scholarship designated to provide international internship opportunities for teacher education students. The intent of this scholarship is to support the work of Samford students who feel called to work in schools that serve underprivileged children in developing countries.
The Deans recognize that many students pursuing education feel they are answering a calling and that a number of them feel specifically called to spread the gospel through the vehicle of education. While education students receive excellent field and internship experiences in Alabama, it is difficult for students who feel called to a career in education missions to have an adequate internship experience where they can develop culturally relevant teaching standards and pedagogy.
“A major piece of the puzzle has been funding travel for our students,” said Amy Hoaglund, director of Elementary Education and Christian Missions. “In order for our students to graduate fully equipped to work as educators in developing countries, they need to have an international experience.” Hoaglund desires to graduate students at such a high caliber that they are empowered to go out confidently and replicate what they have learned through their international placements after graduation.
The Deans shared that providing international internship placements for student teachers has been a dream of many people in the education school for a very long time, but with Hoaglund’s Elementary Education and Christian Missions program, “the timing was right.”
Carol Dean met Hoaglund when Hoaglund was a doctoral candidate, and Dean was serving as department chair for Curriculum and Instruction. After seeing Hoaglund’s work as a student, Dean was instrumental in hiring her as a faculty member after graduation.
“For some time, we have been aware that we have students who come to Samford not for a career or a vocation but for a calling, and Amy’s program makes that a focus,” said Dean. While not all students feel called to serve abroad, Dean felt strongly that if students did have that desire they should have the opportunity to explore it.
“Samford’s mission is to nurture persons in their development and I cannot think of a better way to nurture a student’s development than to present them with the tools they need to successfully answer their calling,” said Dean.
Carol Dean retired in 2009 as a professor and administrator in the school of education. Joseph Dean retired in 2006 after 25 years of service at Samford, including 15 as dean of McWhorter School of Pharmacy.
Contributions to the Samford University School of Education International Internships Scholarship can be made online at samford.edu/education/giving.