Monday, March 10, 2014
The University of West Georgia College of Education celebrated the grand opening of The Fusion Center and Comprehensive Community Clinic on Feb. 28. The event took place from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the new UTeach and Clinic offices located in the Education Annex. Dr. Kyle Marrero, president of UWG, hosted the opening remarks at 4 p.m. Click here to play the full video.
The Comprehensive Community Clinic allows UWG students to provide children in Carrollton with services in math, reading, counseling and speech/language pathology. Although the College of Education has offered many of these services for some time, they have been hidden within their various departments. Uniting them will allow community members to find and access the services more easily, and the pooled resources will allow each area to serve far more children, including those with multiple needs.
“I feel like it’s a good opportunity for all of us,” said Juan Cuellar, a father of two pre-teen girls receiving math and reading help at the clinic. “Because the college is putting these resources into our community, I feel like the children will do well. They cater to my daughters’ weaknesses and strengths. I feel like they’re at a good point in their lives, getting to be in this environment with these excellent student teachers who are extremely nice to all of us.”
The new, state-of-the-art training facility features rooms equipped to allow student clinicians to be supervised or observed by parents remotely. Since re-opening in the Fall 2013 semester, the clinic has served more than 300 students and given 355 UWG students clinical rotation hours.
“The Comprehensive Clinic has been great for me,” said Sarah Owenby, a first-year speech-language pathology graduate student at UWG. “The supervisors are really tuned to what we need and what our clients need, whether it’s speech and hearing or literacy and math. They really try to help us learn the best skills to use, and then we go into the therapy room and apply it, and when we come out, we can meet with them and view ourselves on the technology we have. We get feedback on what we did well and what we can work on. It’s been a really good learning experience.”
The Fusion Center, an ongoing collaboration with UWG’s College of Science and Mathematics, is the new hub for all of UWG’s efforts in science, technology, engineering and math education. The Fusion Center will house the UTeach program, a nationally acclaimed program for preparing STEM teachers and managing the scholarships targeted toward those aspiring educators. UWG is one of only three institutions in the entire state to have such a program, and one of only a handful of major universities nationwide. The Fusion Center has partnered with the University of Central Florida to provide TeachLive, a classroom simulation program that is unique in the state of Georgia. The Fusion Center will also serve as a point of outreach to schools and students in the region, providing workshops for teachers and exciting summer projects and competitions for students.
“Our goal is to be the state's leading provider of teachers in STEM fields,” said Dr. Dianne Hoff, dean of UWG’s College of Education. “The state of Georgia needs more highly skilled college graduates in the STEM disciplines to fill the technologically-based jobs of the future. Sparking students' interest in these fields begins in K-12 education, yet across the state, there is a shortage of well-trained teachers for mathematics and science. The Fusion Center will be focused on providing the best training for teachers, with modern facilities, a well-supported program and partnerships with schools.”