ASCC TED Establishes Cohort
February 7, 2014
By James Kneubuhl, ASCC Press Officer
The Teacher Education Department (TED) at the American Samoa Community College (ASCC) has reached a significant milestone in the development of its four-year Bachelor in Education (BEd) with an emphasis in elementary education degree program. This semester, with 14 students solidly on track towards earning their BEd degrees, the number is high enough for the TED to group them into a cohort. For the next two years, this cohort of students will move through their required BEd courses collectively in an atmosphere conducive to collaboration and camaraderie, while also enabling the TED to provide them with a greater level of academic advising and resources.
ASCC awarded its first BEd degrees in spring 2012, and by this semester, the number of students who have completed their introductory-level TED requirements and are prepared to enter the upper-level courses (numbered 300 and 400) has grown to 14. Cohort Coordinator Filemoni Lauilefue expressed pride in the establishment of the TED cohort group, as well as confidence that the model has proven effective among local students. “Our people thrive in a situation of mutual support,” he said, “and having the students organized into a cohort makes it much easier for us to provide them with the assistance to succeed.”
Lauilefue explained that in his capacity as Coordinator, at the end of every month he and Co-Coordinator Iose Muasau will review each cohort member's progress based on factors such as their attendance, completion of assignments, general participation in classroom activities, and test and quiz results. This will ensure that each cohort member will receive any necessary support and/or counseling, and also provide the Coordinator with a detailed view of each student's achievements and challenges. This Coordinator-student relationship takes on increased significance as the cohort members embark on the student-teaching components of the upper-level TED classes. “This is where they will go out into the field and interact with real students in a real elementary school classroom,” said Lauilefue, “which makes it more important than ever that they know their department stands behind them.”
Dr. Galea'i-Scanlan said the establishment of the TED cohort reinforces her belief that the young people of American Samoa care enough about the future of the Territory to want to become effective elementary classroom teachers. “Our older students have often expressed to me how much untapped potential they see in the elementary and high schools,” she reflected. “They feel our students need teachers who understand the unique cultural situation of American Samoa, and who have ideas on how to turn diversity into a strength rather than an impediment. Becoming a teacher to serve locally is the most sincere means of putting beliefs like these into practice, and in the TED we welcome students who sincerely wish to serve their community.”
The members of the TED cohort are Angela Amata, Malia Auva'a, Cathlyn Custodio, Anamarie Kitiona , Senetenari Malele Lameta, Kevin Lam Yuen, Georgina Laupola, Camio Lavata'i , Finau Roxanne Moananu , Sia Niupulusu , Barry Patane , Anthony Tago , Iaeli Tooala and Valoaga Vui. For more information on the ASCC Teacher Education Department, contact them through the College's main telephone exchange at 699-9155, and ask for Dr. Galea'i-Scanlan.