Future Educators Display Research Projects at Genesee Community College

Christopher DeFelice, a 6’ 3” tall sophomore at Genesee Community College, has always thought of himself as just a big kid. That’s why he’s decided to pursue a career in education, a field that will allow him to help other kids learn. Chris is a student in the Teacher Education Transfer Program at Genesee Community College, which prepares students for transfer to an upper-division college in the field of education. A vital aspect of this program is the guided observational experience that gives students exposure to actual public and private classrooms.

As part of that program, Chris and his fellow students displayed their research projects and portfolios at the College this past week. Research topics covered everything from bullying and peer victimization to female stereotypes in education to Tourette’s Syndrome. Each student prepared a brief discussion and visual aids to present both to the class and to other faculty and students at the College.

Chris, whose topic was peer victimization, was surprised at what his research uncovered. “The interesting thing was that both bullies and victims often have similar home environments,” he said. “The main difference between the two character types is just how an individual responds to the stimulus at home.” Such knowledge will help him be a more effective teacher in a real classroom and aid him in truly understanding his students.

The experience he has gained at Genesee Community College has confirmed Chris’ desire to teach, a goal he set after having an excellent Physics teacher in high school. “Before that I never really liked school, but he made me enjoy that class,” Chris said. “I admire him for changing my outlook and I want to be able to pass that on to others.”

Chris, a native of Batavia, NY, plans to transfer to the State University of New York at Geneseo after he completes his first two years at Genesee. Successful students in the Teacher Education Transfer Program who carefully plan their program with the help of Genesee’s academic advisors and transfer counselors can usually transfer to a four-year institution as juniors. More than half of this program may be taken in a distance learning format.

Students in the Teacher Education Transfer Program take Educational Foundations classes in addition to courses such as English Communication, American History, and General Psychology.

The program has helped Chris focus his career goals, mainly by helping him understand the philosophy of education and giving him the foundation for skills he will need in the classroom. “Genesee Community College has a family-like atmosphere,” he said. “Everyone is supportive and my professors know what I need to be successful.”

For more information about the Teacher Education Transfer Program at Genesee Community College, go to http://www.genesee.edu/academics/programs/Teaching/TeacherEd or contact Christine Belongia, Assistant Professor, at (585) 343-0055 x6278 or cbelongia@genesee.edu. Classes for the spring 2007 semester begin January 16. Course registration is occurring now. 

Editor’s Note: A photograph of Chris DeFelice, a student in the Teacher Education Transfer Program at Genesee Community College, is available at the following address: http://marketing.genesee.edu/images/CDeFelice.jpg