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College of Education hosts National Field Experiences Conference

— TEAM Model Clinical Residency Center draws educators from across North America —

More than 200 educators representing over 60 universities in the United States and Canada visited Louisiana Tech University recently to take part in the National Field Experience Conference hosted by the College of Education’s TEAM (Teacher Educators and Mentors) Model Clinical Residency Center.

L to R: TEAM Model Clinical Residency Center Leadership – Dr. Amy Vessel, Dr. Don Schillinger, Dr. Dawn Basinger.

The National Field Experience Conference (NFEC) featured more than 75 professional presentations and poster sessions in University Hall on the Louisiana Tech campus. The event offered Louisiana Tech faculty and students an opportunity to attend and present at a national conference while also raising awareness of the prominence of Louisiana Tech’s programs and brand. It also allowed Louisiana Tech to showcase the City of Ruston and Lincoln Parish, and to highlight the strength of the “town and gown” relationship.

“I am extremely grateful to the leadership of the National Field Experience Conference for providing us with the opportunity to host the event on our campus,” said Dr. Don Schillinger, dean of Louisiana Tech’s College of Education. “I’m also grateful to (Louisiana Tech) President Les Guice, (Ruston) Mayor Ronnie Walker and (Ruston-Lincoln Convention & Visitors Bureau President) Travis Napper, and their leadership and support teams for the help and confidence in our college to host this annual event.”

In an effort to increase participants from the southern United States, Dr. Amy Vessel, director of the Clinical Residency Center at Louisiana Tech, was invited to serve as the Louisiana NFEC coordinator and to organize the event. Vessel, along with Schillinger, College of Education Associate Dean Dr. Dawn Basinger, and Lindsey Vincent, director of Louisiana Tech’s SciTEC, served as the event’s steering committee with support from the TEAM Clinical Residency Center staff.

“The NFEC brought a personal sense of pride as an alumna of Louisiana Tech, a current faculty member in Louisiana Tech’s College of Education, and a member of this community,” said Vessel. “The support from the university to my own College of Education to the local business downtown was simply overwhelming, and the authenticity of our relationships was a heartfelt experience for our visitors last week.”

The NFEC began with pre-conference events was held at the Davison Athletic Complex with more than 100 educators gathering to engage in conversations with national speakers including Dr. Teresa Heck, co-author of St. Cloud State University’s Co-Teaching Model, and Dr. David Allen, clinical director at Kansas State University. The pre-conference also featured a TEAM Model expert panel representing the College of Education and Lincoln Parish Schools.

Vessel said bringing national leaders in teacher preparation to Louisiana was an amazing opportunity to provide professional development to our school partner districts.

“Educators from Louisiana teacher preparation programs and schools across the state attended and presented, as all teacher preparation programs will be transitioning to a full-year clinical residency program beginning in 2018-2019,” said Vessel. “The conference also offered many collaborative opportunities for Louisiana Tech and other universities to network and discuss future clinical research endeavors.”

For more information on the TEAM Model Clinical Residency Center or the NFEC, visit http://www.latechcrrc.org.