EPIC Program at NSU Delivers Hands-On Experience
Practice makes perfect and that is exactly what the hopes are for a new program created by Northeastern State University’s College of Education. Education Professionally Immersed in Co-Teaching, EPIC for short, puts students in front of the classroom almost twice as long as currently required. Currently students are required to complete 680 hours. Through EPIC, they will be doing just under 1,200 hours.
This is a new but old idea, explains Dr. Stan Sanders, assistant professor and director of clinical education. Though new to the state of Oklahoma and NSU, the concept itself is one that has been around for centuries. In the past if somebody wanted to become a blacksmith they would learn by working under an already established professional and complete an apprenticeship. That is exactly what EPIC offers for participating students — an opportunity to work under the tutelage of a professional using the “co-teaching” model.
EPIC spans over one academic year (fall/spring and spring/fall) and students will receive 27 to 30 credit hours and 32-34 weeks of priceless experience in a public school setting. This program is beneficial to both the student and the teacher. The student teacher gains real-world experience with students, schools, communities and the teaching profession, and the mentor teacher with the EPIC student in their classroom will be able to receive professional development hours.
All admission requirements to teacher education must be complete in order to be considered as an EPIC teacher candidate. Interviews and applications will be completed in October for spring placement and in March for fall placement. NSU officials believe the program is one more way to prepare well-equipped, professional educators for Oklahoma and beyond.