July 1, 2008

Jennifer Tanner
Communications Specialist

VSU Hosts First AP Institute for Local Teachers

VALDOSTA - Local teachers benefited from instruction at the first ever Advanced Placement Summer Institute held at Valdosta State University from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. the week of June 23-27 on VSU campus.

Each of the three inaugural classes were taught by College Board-approved instructors to provide special lessons in teaching specific Advanced Placement courses. Deborah Shepard provided instruction in English literature and composition during a five-session course to teachers from local counties this week. David Bilka will teach a unit on United States history and Patricia Mote will teach a unit in Biology in similar courses, both from July 7-11. Each course cost $500 and is approved for three Professional Learning Unit hours with the State Department of Education.

"The program was a success in that the teachers have been prepared to positively impact the learning of their students, by being better prepared to help students successfully complete AP assessments in specific subject areas," said David Monetti, VSU professor the new program's coordinator.

The new AP Institute is designed to serve teachers from schools in our 41-county region, who would alternately be required to travel to Northeast Georgia or other areas of the state to receive appropriate training. Dr. Phil Gunter, dean of the Dewar College of Education, made the decision to establish the new institution and chose VSU professor Dr. David Monetti to lead the way. Monetti worked with Dr. Julie Reffel, director of assessment, to determine need; Dr. Brian Gerber, director for curriculum, instruction and outreach, to select the most needed subjects for the inaugural summer courses; and Julie Halter, director of Continuing Education, to write and submit a report for approval and to schedule the appropriate classes.

The program came together well and Monetti said the first week was definitely a success. Unless any major curriculum changes are made, the Professional Standards Commission has provided indefinite accreditation, so teachers can look forward to this opportunity, with potentially expanded course offerings, for many years to come.

E-mail Dr. Monetti at dmmonett@valdosta.edu for more information about the new Advanced Placement Summer Institute.

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