Anderson, Indiana

High job placement for AU education majors

Mon, 2010-11-22 08:00 -- univcomm
November 22, 2010

Many students fear the day when they will have to leave their comfortable college community to find a job out in the “real world.” For many of last year’s Anderson University School of Education graduates, this fear did not last long. Ninety-one percent of Anderson University’s education majors found jobs within three months of graduation.

soemainKendria Stephens was one of those students. Nervous about graduation, she sent out many applications, but no offers came. After hearing news about budget and teacher cuts, Stephens began to lose hope. “I was preparing myself to be a teacher’s aide or long-term sub for the coming year since the job market wasn’t looking good,” said Stephens. [Photo on left: Education majors, Cassie Woodward and Andrea Holdeman play with children at the After School Fun program at Park Place Church of God.]

Her job offer came just a few weeks after graduation. She sent in her application on Wednesday and got a call the next day to set up her interview. There were about 230 other applicants for the job. Stephens now teaches full-day kindergarten to 25 students.

Elise Watson is another 2009 alum. As graduation approached, Watson did not have a job but remained confident. As the summer passed she became worried, but her day finally came. She said that her first day of teaching her K-5 Spanish class was eventful. “I had two children cry, one who could not stop running around the room, and another 20 who all wanted my attention,” said Watson. “That day I learned that kindergarten teachers are saints!”

Although experiences varied with the 91 percent who obtained jobs, Shari Nihart’s was unique. Nihart was hired to teach abroad. She teaches 20 African special needs students ranging from second to tenth grade and coming from more than 10 countries. Nihart said the demand for teachers is high overseas because many teachers leave after their two-year contracts are over. There are times when Nihart misses her family and friends back home, but she has a strong and supportive group of people working and living with her.

Among the graduates hired, 65 percent took jobs in Indiana, 15 percent outside of Indiana, and seven percent in international schools. Elementary education graduates have the highest job placement rate.

— Kristyn Rhynard is a senior from Ithaca, Mich., majoring in communication arts. Rhynard is an associate with Fifth Street Communications™, writing on behalf of Anderson University Office of University Communications.

Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2009, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the sixth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.