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Project Advance Summer Institute 2012 welcomes teachers from Vietnam, pilots new courses
Syracuse University Project Advance (SUPA) kicked off the 2012 edition of its Summer Institute training on June 25. The annual event this year brings 116 high school teachers from across the Northeast and abroad to the SU campus to be trained to teach SU courses in their high schools as part of SUPA’s enhanced concurrent enrollment program.
The three-week Summer Institute runs through July 20, with teachers training in small group workshops to teach courses from accounting to web design. In all, 23 courses are being introduced to the teachers at this year’s institute. Teachers who successfully complete Summer Institute become certified SU adjunct instructors, qualified to teach the SU courses for which they have been trained.
New courses joining SUPA’s roster in 2012 are sport management, an essential introduction to this growing field designed by Gina Pauline, professor in SU’s David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics; and personal finance, a course that offers practical advice about loans, credit cards, investments, savings and taxes, designed by Don Dutkowsky, professor of economics in The College of Arts and Sciences.
A total of 61 schools have sent teachers to work with SU faculty. They are visiting from schools as close as the Syracuse City School District and as far as districts in Topsfield, Mass., and Saddlebrook, N.J., and further still.
For the first time, SUPA’s Summer Institute welcomes teachers from Vietnam’s International School Ho Chi Minh City (ISHCMC) and ISHCMC-American Academy. Teachers Nathan Bryant, Heather Carreiro, Rae Deely and Michael Jollimore will learn how to teach SU economics, writing and English, calculus and physics respectively.
Carreiro is joining the ISHCMC-American Academy English faculty in fall 2012, having most recently lived in Fall River, Mass. “My supervisor is really excited about Project Advance, and he asked me to attend Summer Institute because, thanks to my master’s in English, I’m qualified to teach SU courses,” she says. “This is an exciting opportunity for me to teach university-level courses in a high school and to offer Vietnamese students who want to study in the U.S. the chance to shift their worldview, learn to think critically, challenge their understanding of what knowledge is and get a taste of American culture.”
Carreiro, who also has taught in Pakistan, says that Asian education methods are quite different from those in the United States. One challenge she’ll face is encouraging the students to join a research and analytical conversation in their studies, rather than simply synthesize what others have said about a subject. The tools and exercise she’s learning at Summer Institute will help her do this, she says.
“Another challenge of teaching SU’s writing courses to my Vietnamese students is anchoring the texts they will analyze in experiences they understand,” Carreiro says. “They might not necessarily know the references to American culture in our books, so I’m curious about how to adapt my course so that it is relevant and interesting to them.”
Also new to Summer Institute this year are two additional “core strategies workshops,” customized for 7th- 10th grade teachers, that continue SUPA’s longstanding commitment to offer its secondary school partners relevant, practical and leading-edge professional development opportunities. These workshops—“Strategic Learning” and “Reading With Purpose”—give teachers the tools they need to impart college readiness skills (such as effective note taking, active reading and critical thinking) to college-bound students.