Mentoring In a Freshman Field Experience at a Local Elementary School

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The purpose of the Early Childhood Mentor Project was to provide mentoring to freshman teacher education candidates starting in their first education class. 24 project participants were enrolled in a freshman learning community that included the course, EDUC 2130 Exploring Teaching and Learning, a course requiring 30 hours of field experience in a P-12 school setting in Columbus State University’s Partner School Network. Participants were divided into three groups, and a teacher education mentor was assigned to each group to assist and support candidates during their first semester at CSU and throughout their classes in teacher education. The mentor visited candidates in their lab placements in the public school, coaching and giving feedback to candidates as they interacted with students in the local school system. A web-based survey of was conducted that contained 13 items to evaluate the program and experience after the teacher candidates first class. This research will be ongoing throughout the students' program. The main objective of the presentation will be to show the impact of mentoring on retention and progression rates in the teacher education program.

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