Job seekers who visited Bridgewater State University’s recent Education Career Fair had more than brick-and-mortar schools to explore.
Walpole-based TEC Connections Academy (TECCA) Commonwealth Virtual School joined an array of traditional educational organizations that sent representatives to the RCC Ballroom for Wednesday’s event.
“Teachers enjoy being part of something innovative and groundbreaking (at TECCA),” Superintendent Adam Goldberg said, as he waited for resume-toting students to enter the ballroom.
This was TECCA’s first appearance at the fair. The public school runs kindergarten through high school classes online and anticipates adding about 50 employees as it keeps pace with rising enrollment.
Virtual schools such as TECCA serve students who have medical or other reasons that prevent them from attending traditional schools, such as rigorous athletic or extracurricular commitments.
“This school fills a need for students that, for whatever reason, can’t attend brick-and-mortar schools,” said Mary Ann McKinnon, G’91, associate dean of the College of Education and Allied Studies. “The online school provides a great learning environment with many of the same things a traditional school does, just on a schedule that meets their needs.”
TECCA and BSU partner on professional development, as well as the formation of certificate programs that train students to teach online. Ms. McKinnon hopes to see the partnership expand to include placing BSU education majors at TECCA as student-teachers.
Mr. Goldberg said TECCA is seeking teachers with similar skills as conventional schools – expertise in their subject area, a passion for helping children, and teamwork.
The fair brought 53 school districts, charter schools, independent schools and other organizations to campus, delivering to job seekers a form of one-stop shopping. Attendees could also leave resumes for 17 additional organizations that were unable to attend in person.
“You get a sense of who they are personally rather than (just seeing them) online,” said Alec Provo, who picked BSU for graduate school and was among 200 job-seekers who attended the fair.
Employers praised BSU graduates for bringing a wealth of knowledge and hands-on experience to the job.
“BSU is a hotbed of promising young teachers,” said Derek Michael, director of curriculum at Global Learning Charter Public School in New Bedford. “I think they are prepared from day one.” (Story and photos by Brian Benson, University News)