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Exploration of Teaching/Education Careers Offered

October 5, 2017

Kansas high school students looking toward the future have the opportunity to see whether they want to be among the future generation of teachers, coaches, counselors, education researchers, speech therapists — every profession that begins with a degree in education. And those repeating attendance at the Kansas Future Teacher Academy will find a new experience. 

“I was unsure of my future and what I wanted to do,” said Tanner Meinholdt, who attended the Kansas Future Teacher Academy in 2014 and 2015. “I was invited by my high school counselor to attend KFTA, but I had no idea what would happen. I took the chance, and absolutely do not regret it one bit. While at KFTA, I was face-to-face with real teachers, telling of their experiences, and what you can expect as a teacher of any year. I didn't just receive the wonderful aspects of teaching, though. I was let into EVERYTHING teaching had to offer, including the bad days and frustrating situations. The academy was set up to do just that, and I feel that everyone involved in making KFTA work are responsible for my decision to pursue a music education degree from Emporia State University, and eventual teaching of secondary students.”

Dr. Roger Caswell, director of the academy, said there is a change for 2018. For the past four years, students like Meinholdt were allowed to return to the academy. In 2018, however, students who attended the academy before will be able to attend the first official Advanced Future Teacher Academy. 

"We saw that the returning students were increasing their understanding of being a teacher, but there was a need to further enrich their experiences,” Caswell explained. “The advanced academy will go beyond the initial academy — different opportunities, more in-depth learning — as well as provide support and interaction with the students attending the academy for the first time.”

The 29th annual Kansas Future Teacher Academy and the advanced academy will be held June 10-14, 2018. The application is available at Current high school freshmen, sophomores and juniors are eligible to apply. Applications need to be submitted by April 20, 2018­. 

Academy participants will work with education faculty from area school districts and ESU education faculty, and meet with new teachers, academy alumni, the 2018 Kansas Teachers of the Year and the 2018 Kansas Master Teachers.

Students are accepted into the academy based upon their academic standing, involvement in school and community activities and interest in exploring a career in education. Since 1989, when the first academy had the honor of receiving the AASCU Christa McAuliffe Showcase for Excellence Award, the Kansas Future Teacher Academy has graduated more than 1,300 high school students.

Funding for the academy is provided by the Kansas Legislature and is coordinated by the Jones Institute for Educational Excellence at ESU. For more information about the academy, visit or contact Roger Caswell at 620-341-5372.



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