On Thursday, Sept. 26, the Tift College of Education hosted a drop-in event at the new Emily P. Meyers Admissions and Welcome Center for any who were seeking a graduate degree in education. The drop-in lasted from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., and allowed for anyone interested in pursuing this career path to stop by to chat with current staff members, such as Tracey Wofford.
Wofford is the director of admissions at the Macon branch of the Tift College, and was in charge of speaking to most of the students. When asked why the Tift College was so appealing to potential students, she replied that Tift is ranked no. 1 in the private preparation of teachers, which is a big draw. The opportunities that this college offers are also a greatly appealing factor—partnerships and internships, as well as the eventual placement of the teachers. Wofford stressed that every member of the staff at Tift has had years of experience, which also adds to the prestige of the college.
For those wondering what degrees Tift offers, the answer ranges from a master’s of education in early childhood education to an education specialist in teacher leadership. Are you more of the administrative type, and prefer to be on top of the crowd? Then the master’s of education in higher education leadership is for you. Want to teach 5-year-olds how to color and say their ABCs? Then you want to look into the education specialist of educational leadership (P-12).
Katie Hauser, a current teacher in Bibb County who stopped by the drop-in, said that the reason she was seeking the higher degree now was because of a law that was recently passed. The law states that those teachers who are not working towards their master’s, or who do not already have one, are ineligible for a pay increase. While Hauser loves her children, she agreed that love alone was not enough to pay the bills or buy extra goodies for her students. “Those costs come out of pocket for me,” she said, and sometimes she just likes to reward her students.
“I didn’t even intend to be a teacher,” Hauser said when asked how she got into education. Originally an anthropology major, she took an education class with her roommate one year and has been a teacher ever since.
There are several locations that the Tift College serves, with the closest one here in Macon. However, there are also a locations at the Atlanta campus as well as Regional Academic Centers that cater to evening students in Henry and Forsyth.
“Mercer Building Leaders in Education,” is the motto of the college, and it is definitely a motto that the college lives up to. They hold a National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education certification known as “The Standard of Excellence in Teacher Preparation,” an accreditation that Wofford stresses that they are very proud of. “There’s a difference between being within the pure subject and education—how to transmit that knowledge,” Wofford says about the program and why it is so important.
For any student interested in the Tift Graduate program, contact Tracey Wofford at [email protected]