AU future educators program helps develop strong partnership with area high schools

Judy Maxwell speaking at AU/FEA Luncheon

Judy Maxwell, FEA Coordinator, speaks to guests at the FEA Luncheon at Aurora University on March 7.

High school students from 15 area high schools, representing 12 school districts, came together for the 15th Annual Aurora University Future Educators Association Partnership Luncheon on Thursday, March 7. They were joined by high school principals, superintendents, education association/union presidents and personnel from the AU College of Education.

The Future Educators Association (FEA) is an organization for high school students interested in education-related careers. At this year’s luncheon, advisors and club officers shared updates on the activities and events they have accomplished over the past year through the FEA club.

Pam Ferdinand, FEA Coordinator, feels the luncheon is a good way to spread the word about the program. “This event brings in administrative leaders from various area high schools to AU so that they better understand the program and continue to be supportive,” explains Ferdinand.

This year’s theme, “teach – plant a seed, watch it grow,” was developed by high school students and highlighted the FEA national mission, to foster the development of prospective educators through innovative programming and relevant research. Each FEA chapter constructed banners, brochures and posters incorporating this year’s theme into their designs.

AU continues to support the development of prospective educators beyond the luncheon with its renewable scholarship, available to FEA members who enroll at AU and major in education. AU began offering the $1,000 renewable scholarship in the fall of 2002 and has since awarded close to $190,000 to FEA members.

For Judy Maxwell, FEA Coordinator, this program has become a great way to showcase the AU degree programs. “High school students come to our events on campus, become comfortable with the activities at AU and eventually end up choosing to pursue a degree at Aurora University,” says Maxwell.

The collaboration between Aurora University and FEA has created an opportunity for area high schools to immerse their students in the education field through a variety of programs and activities at their high schools and on the AU campus.

FEA members in attendance represented area high schools, including Batavia, East Aurora, Hinckley-Big Rock, Kaneland, Metea Valley, Neuqua Valley, Oswego, Oswego East, Plano, St. Charles East, St. Charles North, Sandwich, Waubonsie Valley, West Aurora and Yorkville.