Students attending the conference arrived on campus by bus at the
start of the school day and spent the morning getting a brief overview
of the University and its teacher preparation programs, followed by
visits to residence halls and classes. After lunch, the students divided
into smaller groups to engage in the “What Makes a Great Teacher?”
activity and to hear a presentation from UD’s undergraduate admissions
During the activity, teams of students traced the outline of one of
their classmates on a large sheet of paper, then labeled the drawing
with their own ideas of what qualities make up the ideal teacher.
Assisted by UD undergraduate education students, the groups also
discussed such subjects as the challenges facing teachers.
In the larger group discussion about preparing for college, Danny
Barrow, UD assistant director of admissions, told the students what
kinds of grades, test scores and high school classes the University
looks for in assessing prospective students. But he said that
non-cognitive factors such as leadership qualities and resilience in
overcoming difficulties are considered as well.
He told the students that he was the first in his family to attend
college and that he sought out mentors to help him. Students asked
Barrow questions about the availability of scholarships and other
financial aid and about the University’s Commitment to Delawareans that provides a kind of roadmap for in-state students to follow in high school.
The conference was part of a program now in its third year that aims
to encourage secondary school students from diverse backgrounds to
consider a teaching career and to consider studying education at UD,
said Kate Scantlebury, director of the Center for Secondary Teacher
Education and a professor of chemistry and biochemistry and education.
The third important purpose of the program, she said, is for
participants “to learn about what college is like, how college is
different from high school and what it takes to be admitted and be
successful at the University of Delaware.”
Most of the students at the conference attended a similar program on
campus in the fall, Joyce said, and were eager to return. They have
shown interest in teaching at a variety of grade levels, from early
childhood to elementary to secondary school. Participants came from
Milford, Indian River, Sussex Central and Brandywine high schools,
Prestige Academy and Las Américas ASPIRA Academy, a dual-language
charter school near Newark.