EU, South Korean agency collaborate for student teaching

Contributed Photo
President Wollman and NIIED President Lee signed an agreement on Thursday, September 11.

The Spectator

Edinboro University students will have a direct connection to teaching opportunities in South Korea under an agreement signed Sept. 11, by President Wollman and the president of the National Institute for International Education (NIIED), an agency of the Korean government.

At the signing ceremony with Edinboro University President Julie E. Wollman, NIIED President Byung-hyun Lee said his country has a “fever and a fervor for education.”

Having “dramatically transformed from its impoverished post-war beginnings to a rising economic power,” South Korea reportedly “aspires to be a top performer in the global economy,” he said.  Mastery of English is emphasized because it is the language of international business.

Under the memorandum of understanding signed by Presidents Lee and Wollman, Edinboro will recruit and help to screen candidates for two NIIED programs that place native English speakers in South Korean classrooms.

The English Program in Korea (EPIK) offers full-time teaching positions with pay and benefits to college graduates for a renewable one-year term.  Placements are made at the elementary, middle and high school level at both urban and rural schools.

The second program, “Teach and Learn in Korea” (TaLK), pays undergraduate students a monthly stipend to lead after-school English classes. Placement is in rural elementary schools, and a one-year commitment is preferred.

Both programs also offer travel allowances, medical insurance and vacation leave.

One Edinboro student, Jonathan Stewart, is already teaching in South Korea through the TaLK program and recently won a teaching award there.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our students,” Edinboro President Wollman told NIIED President Lee. “We will try to continue to send you our very best.”

President Lee was accompanied on his visit to Edinboro by Soo Kyeong Kim, NIIED Education Supervisor. The signing ceremony also was attended by Edinboro representatives Dr. Alan Biel, interim dean of the school of education and dean of the school of graduate studies and research; Dr. Scott Miller, dean of the school of business; Mary Nientimp, director of field experiences and student teaching; Linda Kightlinger, director of international student services; and faculty members Dr. Wook Lee and Hanjin Park.

Dr. Wook Lee and Park, who are natives of South Korea, will work with Dr. Heather-Lee Baron of the university’s department of middle and secondary education and educational leadership as well as with others on campus to recruit students for the programs.