The College of Education at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida, is creating innovative ways to serve both education students and employees who have school-aged children through a new no-cost service called RISE (Remote Instruction for Students and Employees).
“The College of Education began planning the RISE program when a faculty member expressed her concern about leaving her children at home to do schoolwork while she was at work,” said Cindy Campbell, assistant professor in the College of Education and the director of RISE.
Launched on Oct. 5, this program provides school-age children of faculty and staff a secure facility to complete online coursework assigned to them by their school districts. It also provides education students at the university with the opportunity to earn field study hours on campus while they are unable to go into schools due to COVID-19. SEU students supervise the children, answer questions, and assist with homework.
Currently, there are 35 elementary and secondary education SEU students participating in RISE as supervisors, some on a volunteer basis for the experience and some to fulfill their field study hours. Students between first and ninth grades are currently actively attending RISE. All students, staff, and faculty adhere to COVID-19 procedures including temperature checks every morning upon entry.
“So far my experience has made a stronger impact than I realized. This program is helping me learn how to bond and create relationships with students. I enjoy being able to talk to them about things other than school, for example their hobbies and interests. It is also helping me to fulfill my 60-hour requirement for field study,” said education student Hannah Bonner.
RISE is specifically geared toward students of working parents who need a place to complete schoolwork and it is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. The parents must be on campus while their students are at RISE. Students enrolled in RISE are expected to bring their own laptop/tablet and headphones to access coursework, to provide their own lunch and snacks, to remain in the supervised area, and they are required to comply with all COVID-19 guidelines.
The faculty members worked with the dean, James Anderson, as well as the provost of SEU and the facilities department to develop the program and create a space for RISE to take place.
“There was a big SEU community buy-in working with multiple departments to make this happen and helping to make the program run appropriately and safely,” said Campbell.