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Penn College Students Take Part in Panel Discussion for Teachers

Past and present Pennsylvania College of Technology students, captured in this image from a video recording of the event, were represented in a recent panel discussion for teachers seeking their master's degrees.Three Act 101 students (Khamila M. Baines, Monica B. Freeman and Shameia M. Lee), a Summer PLUS 2009 student (Shyla M. Taylor) and a past student (Brandon H. O’Dowd) at Penn College were guest panelists for a recent graduate class titled “Matching Teaching Strategies to Learning Styles.”

The class, composed of middle and high school teachers in the Williamsport Area School District enrolled in Bloomsburg University’s masters’ program, met at Cochran Elementary School on July 28.

“As the class progressed, it became evident that the learning styles of students are more than personality types, multiple intelligences and modalities of learning,” said Louise Clarke, course instructor and retired principal for Central Elementary School in the South Williamsport Area School District. “The student’s profile has to include the makeup of the home situation, the ethnicity of the student (and) the socioeconomic status, as well as those characteristics.”

The panel discussion addressed cultural backgrounds and ethnic differences of minority students. Questions about motivation, role modeling and discipline concerns were answered. The need for listening, challenging and caring became the theme of the conversation, as well as developing individualized criteria for preparing minority students to go to college.

The students on the panel emphasized their commitment and motivation due to the individualized and personal support they receive from the Act 101 program at Penn College.

“They gave very important insights to how students’ needs and views on success start as early as elementary school,” said Henriette K. Evans, the program’s temporary academic and career specialist. “Their message was to continue to offer opportunities for students to learn, regardless of the obstacles.”