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Whitworth to host Teaching Academy Conference Nov. 1 for area high-school students

October 15, 2010
WHO: Roughly 100 local high-school students and their teachers

WHAT: Teaching Academy Conference

WHEN: Monday, Nov. 1, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

WHERE: Hixson Union Building and Dixon Hall classrooms at Whitworth University

The Whitworth University School of Education and Whitworth Admissions Department, in collaboration with the Career & Technical Education Department of Spokane Public Schools, will host a Teaching Academy Conference for nearly 100 Spokane-area high-school students who are enrolled in the Teaching Academy course. The event will provide an opportunity for junior and senior students to experience a professional conference during which they will hear a keynote address and take part in a refugee simulation, in which they will experience some of the challenges refugees often face. The keynote address, "Refugee Simulation Introduction & Instructions," will be presented by Mark Kadel, director of World Relief's Spokane office. Students then will act as members of a refugee family group and will move through four stations: an interview with the United Nations' refugee agency, a medical station, a food stamp station, and a language class. The conference will close with an opportunity for students to meet with a refugee currently living in Spokane.

The Teaching Academy course, an intensive class in basic teaching skills, is offered at local high schools to encourage students to explore careers in education. This curriculum is also offered at high schools across the state of Washington. The curriculum is guided by the goals of the Washington State Teachers Recruiting Future Teachers Organization.

After completing the Teaching Academy course, students will intern in field sites during the second semester. The internships will allow the students to explore future careers in teaching, as well as apply the skills and knowledge they acquired at the Whitworth conference and in their course work. The conference this year is focusing on refugees because the minority population in Spokane-area schools has increased significantly in recent years and Spokane-area teachers are learning to adjust their one-size-fits-all teaching approach so that English-language learners aren't left behind. Also, students often work with minority populations, including refugees, during their field site experience.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of nearly 3,000 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Kathy Ayers, office of the dean, School of Education, Whitworth University (509) 777-4574 or

Emily Proffitt, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or