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MO State University and Phelps Center for Gifted Education Form Partnership

A new partnership between Missouri State University and Phelps Center for Gifted Education is expected to benefit both organizations. KSMU’s Michele Skalicky has more…

Missouri State University has many resources that can benefit its neighbor--Phelps School for the Gifted, and Phelps has resources it can offer back to MSU. That’s why a cooperative partnership was developed between the two. Some ideas have been tossed around for how the partnership can be used—College of Education students will receive mentoring from Phelps teachers and will get experience in the classroom. There will be guest lecture opportunities for Phelps teachers in MO State classrooms. An outdoor classroom at Phelps might get some help from the MO State Agriculture Department.Principal Lanae Lazzelle says it remains to be seen just how many areas will be affected…

"When you're talking about a university as large as MSU, I mean, it's huge, and there's so many great departments."

Lazzelle says the new partnership makes official a relationship that’s been established for some time…

"We've worked with the physics department for years because we teach science courses here and physics courses here, and the theatre department, we've worked with for years and we put on Shakespeare outdoor theatre plays every other year, and we get so excited at every single aspect of how we can all work together on this."

One way future teachers and their students will benefit from the partnership is the chance for education students to learn about teaching gifted children. Catia Gilpin teaches gifted middle schoolers at Phelps…

"We are here in a unique position to offer their students a laboratory that they would otherwise not be able to have. Many times people have maybe two paragraphs in a book during their entire college, and now they can come and see 'what does giftedness really look like?What are the issues? Why is it important to have that program?'"

Dr. David Brown is acting associate dean of MO State’s College of Education…

"Previously, our students really didn't get much exposure at all to gifted education, and that's a high need area and getting more high need. All of our students are going to have gifted children in their classrooms, and they really don't have the skills to work with them, so this is going to open up a great opportunity for our teacher candidates to work with the faculty over at Phelps."

Brown says Phelps teachers might become adjunct faculty at MO State to work with students on campus. And College of Education students might have classes at Phelps.He hopes the interaction between Phelps students and MO State students will get some of the younger students started thinking about a career in teaching. The new MO State/Phelps partnership is overseen by a six-member board of directors with representatives from each institution. An advisory group for the partnership, made up of members from several MO State colleges, is currently being formed.For KSMU News, I’m Michele Skalicky.