Admins address Education program concerns

Justise Brundage, News Editor

With recent events on campus, many students were concerned about the future of the education program at Wayne and wanted some answers.

On Nov. 16 President Dr. Rames and Vice President of Academic Affairs Steve Elliott met with education majors.

The meeting was requested by WSEAN, the Wayne Student Education Association of Nebraska, to address some concerns among students in the School of Education and Counseling.

One of the main concerns was the Northeast Nebraska Teacher Academy or NENTA Program and was addressed right away in the meeting. Rames said that the program will not be going away, and that they are working with Professor Timothy Sharer to keep the program running after he retires.

“NENTA will continue at Wayne State,” Rames said. “We will all be sad that we are losing Dr. Sharer but we are working with him now and appreciate him for giving us notice of what his plans are so we have plenty of time to work with him and talk about accreditation and what we need to do for the program.”

Students were informed that Elliott was named as the interim dean of Education and Counseling after David Harycki resigned earlier this year. Harycki left Wayne due to differences in future plans for the program, Rames said.

“Not everyone knew that he was the interim dean but now with this meeting, people kind of know,” State Student Education Association of Nebraska President Denton Beacom said. “So far I have seen all positive things. Steve has been great about reaching out to me and answering my questions.”

Rames said that the college is on the search for a more permanent replacement for the dean of Education. She wants to give students an opportunity to give feedback on whom to hire.

“The cycle for dean should be opening up here in the next 60 days or so and we hope to have candidates on campus here in the spring, and we will pick someone here in the spring so they can hit the ground running come July,” Rames said.

There had also been rumors around campus that accreditation was a concern, but those have been put to rest.

“Accreditation came up as an issue as well, but there are no programs being ended or not being accredited or having any negative impact of that nature,” Elliott said. “Of all things right now our accreditation is doing really well.”

Students asked questions about other programs and the future of Education at Wayne State College.

“A lot of students got their questions answered, now they are just curious to see what actions will be taken. They kind of got answers but they aren’t really sure what the plan is to fulfill what they were told,” Beacom said.

During the meeting, though, one student was not happy with some situations happening with online classes.

With professors resigning or retiring right before classes started for the fall 2016, some classes were moved to online. Some students felt it was unfair that they had to pay online prices for classes that they expected to be in person.

Elliott and Rames addressed the costs but were more concerned that students felt they were not getting the education they deserve.

Students mentioned that in some classes they felt they were not learning what they needed to know to go into the classroom.

“I would really like to see improvement in our classes,” Beacom said. “Students are really upset about how much of a joke some of our education classes have been this semester; this hasn’t been just one class in particular, there are some that are worse than others, but there is a good chunk of the education classes that are being very poorly ran and students are feeling they are not gaining anything and not being prepared to go out and teach.”

Overall, Elliott and Rames addressed many issues and are aware of students’ concerns and have agreed to look into these for the near future.

“He (Elliott) realized a lot of these problems and wants to figure out a way to fix these things. With President Rames I feel that she has heard some of these things a few times but now she realizes that much of the education program is upset about these things and now they have been brought to her attention and I hope there will be actions taken,” Beacom said.

“I was surprised that some things were the first time she has heard these issues. I look forward to seeing how some of these issues will be solved in the upcoming semester.”