Education faculty and students travel to China May 6-19

by Susan Sullivan | Apr 18, 2019
SoKoElvis.Shopped.300x300-compressorSOUTH KOREA was the destination for the 2018 study-abroad trip. It is part of the Klipsch Educators College focus on providing undergraduates with global perspectives on best educational practices in high-performing schools around the world. It is also a key component of KEC's five-year program that includes a one-year paid teaching residency. Graduates earn both a bachelor's and a master's degree in education.

Seventeen students and two faculty members from the Klipsch Educators College (KEC) will depart for China early next month, arriving in Beijing where they will spend several days before traveling on to Shanghai by train.

With a total population of 1.4 billion, China is the world's largest country, surpassing India and the United States.

The 12-day trip will give students insight into a way of life that mixes ancient Chinese traditions with modern educational, cultural, political, social, and economic systems. In 2017, Business Insider ranked several Chinese cities as among the most high-tech in the world, including Hong Kong (#22), Shenzhen (#20), Shanghai (#17), and Beijing (#16). 

The educational excursion will be led by Dr. Cheryl Hertzer, director of the university's English as a new language program and coordinator of KEC's study abroad program, and Robert Behning, KEC's director of external affairs.

The goal for the trip is to provide Marian students—some of whom have never flown or left the country—to visit, observe, and learn from their interactions with teachers and students in highly effective, high-performing Chinese schools.

The students, all of whom are earning bachelor's degrees in education at Marian, are exploring pre-elementary, elementary, pre-secondary, secondary, and special education aspects of China's educational institutions. They include:

  • Kendra Corman 
  • Abby English
  • Olivia Gillum
  • Nate Granger
  • Logan Gruell
  • Sarah Herron
  • Lindsey Kennison
  • Molly McMillan
  • Maria Portman
  • McKenna Roberts
  • Allison Sinks
  • Lizzy Smith
  • Hope Spaulding
  • Anne Strevels
  • Grace Tatarek
  • Tristan Tonte

Among the destinations on the itinerary are visits to Chinese primary schools, high schools, vocational schools, and universities, including a teacher's college.

The group will share meals with local families, see the Great Wall, visit the Summer Palace, view temples, and even take a dim sum cooking class.

"Our goal is for the experience to be both an outward and an inward journey for these future teachers. The outward journey will provide them with a look into an educational system very different from our own. We want them to identify practices they could adapt and/or adopt to strengthen their own schools and classrooms," explains Dr. Hertzer. 

"The inward journey is one that leads to enhanced self-awareness and understanding of the influence different cultures have on our lives as well as how to become more effective teachers of children from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds," Hertzer adds.

We wish them bon voyage! For more information about Marian University's innovative teacher education program, contact the Office of Undergraduate Admission at (317) 955, 6516, (800) 772-7265, or

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Brad R. Wucher
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