December 4, 2015 | 11 a.m.
By Erik Gruber '06, GS'14
Bethel’s M.A. in Special Education program recently formed a partnership with the Anoka-Hennepin School District to offer graduate students opportunities for full-time employment and firsthand experience while they work toward their degree.
Through the partnership, which launched this fall, the school district will hire students in the special education program as full-time paraprofessionals while they’re earning their master’s degree at Bethel. This unique opportunity gives Bethel students hands-on training and experience with a variety of age groups and disability categories, helps them fulfill program requirements, and provides them with full-time pay and benefits while they’re in school.
"Bethel and Anoka-Hennepin Schools are tailoring a program to meet your needs as a developing special educator, while helping to meet the needs of school age kids in the Anoka-Hennepin schools for compassionate, well-trained adults to support their educational progress," says Katie Bonawitz, program director for Bethel’s M.A. in Special Education.
Bethel students will also have opportunities to build connections with leaders in the Anoka-Hennepin School District, which is the largest school district in the state. These relationships could potentially lead to career opportunities following graduation. In return, the partnership helps the Anoka-Hennepin School District find qualified, passionate paraprofessionals to work with their students."This partnership is ideal,” says Anoka-Hennepin Superintendent David Law. “Future teacher candidates have quality experiences working with students and the district has the opportunity to meet potential applicants in a high demand field."