Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Bridget Hardy, University of St. Thomas

12/10/2012 (1 year ago)

University of St. Thomas (stthom.edu)

GRACE Beckons Teachers to Community Learning

Siblings have an innate desire to see each other succeed. Sonny Vo, first-year graduate student in the Gulf Region Academy for Catholic Educators, views his cohort group with a familial bond to uphold and fortify him as a teacher and brother.

Highlights

By Bridget Hardy, University of St. Thomas

University of St. Thomas (stthom.edu)

12/10/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in College & University

Keywords: University of St. Thomas, GRACE, Dr. Ana-Lisa Gonzalez, University Consortium for Catholic Education, graduate program, teaching, community learning, Catholic schools, Resurrection Catholic School, K-12 Catholic education, teaching certification, master's


"It is like being in a family with brothers and sisters," Vo said. "You have your good and rough days, but you learn a lot about yourself and others that are journeying with you."

The GRACE program prepares newly-employed teachers to serve in Catholic schools while pursuing a Master of Education at UST through a St. Thomas and Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston partnership. GRACE promotes three pillars: professional development, spiritual growth and community living. Limiting a cohort group to six students, the two-year GRACE program staggers two sets of students so the second-year teachers can offer advice, mentorship and guidance to the newer teachers while living on the UST campus.

Emily Feczko, a second-year GRACE student who is a pre-kindergarten teacher at Resurrection Catholic School, also welcomes the challenge of living and learning with different people.

"Like a family, we might not always be getting along, but we are always there to support each other," Feczko said. "The community does a wonderful job of juggling work and social. We like to have fun together but get down to business too."

In his second-year of teaching also at Resurrection, Vo and his cohort peers engage in conversation and Bible studies with the Fellowship of Catholic University Students at St. Thomas. The GRACE students also have community dinners together every night Sunday through Thursday.

"It is a blessing to come home from teaching knowing that you have peers who share the same profession as you and can relate to your struggles and joys as an educator," Vo said.

GRACE includes three programs. One is a traditional Catholic teacher education program that can lead to initial certification. The other two programs, GRACE Leadership or GRACE Literacy, are for new teachers who enter the program credentialed. The 10 students enrolled are from six different schools in the Archdiocese and from all over the United States, including Washington, California, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Feczko, who is from Seattle, Wash., said the classes have given her practical ideas for educating and managing a class, but the community of teachers facilitates the development of creative teaching and service.

"I think the GRACE program is about service: serving students, serving other teachers and ultimately serving God." she said.

Dr. Ana-Lisa Gonzalez, director of GRACE and Reading and Catholic Education, said she views the program as a ministry and is proud of how much the program has evolved.

"The program has really taken off," Gonzalez said. "More people are getting the word out, especially at the University Consortium for Catholic Education. It's growing leaps and bounds and is becoming more refined to meet the needs of students."

The UCCE, a collaborative effort within higher education institutions to strengthen and sustain K-12 Catholic education, touts the GRACE program at nationwide conferences. In conjunction with colleges and universities such as University of Notre Dame, Seton Hall University and St. Mary's University in Minnesota, UST is a part of a 15-member group that aids the others' efforts to develop Catholic educators who take the three pillars into their classrooms.

"GRACE is an amazing program that offers the opportunity to maximize and utilize your talents to give back to the Catholic community through educating the youth," Vo said. "It provides an opportunity to be in union with other people through community to help you as a person of faith, character and professionalism."

GRACE is now accepting applications for the next cohort group. The application is online, and the deadline is Feb. 1. Find out more about pursuing teaching certification and a master's degree while becoming part of the GRACE family.

---

The University of St. Thomas, dedicated to educating leaders of faith and character, is a private institution committed to the liberal arts and to the religious, ethical and intellectual tradition of Catholic higher education. St. Thomas is Houston’s only Catholic University and was founded by the Basilian Fathers.



Comments


More College & University

Franciscan nun becomes first woman head of a pontifical university Watch

Image of Sister Melone is an alumnus of the university set up in 1890 in honor of St Anthony, a 13th century saint from Spain known for his forceful preaching and expert knowledge of the Bible.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education made history last week when it nominated a Franciscan nun as the first woman head of a pontifical university. In a position held usually by priests, Sister Mary Melone will become the rector of the Pontifical ... continue reading


University of St. Thomas Graduates First Nursing Cohort in 25 Years

Image of University of St. Thomas Nursing Graduate, Elizabeth Ciocco

By Darnell Miller - University of St. Thomas

This May 27 nursing students, including Elizabeth Ciocco, will be the first nursing students to graduate from the University of St. Thomas in nearly 25 years.  Ciocco joins 298 undergraduates and 739 graduates at the University's 64th Commencement ... continue reading


University of St. Thomas Honors Research Goes 6 Feet Under

Image of Honors Program students consider the issues of death and mortality in the Contemporary Seminar research presented at UST's Research symposium.

By Brenda Cooper, University of St. Thomas

A few hundred people have undergone cryopreservation procedures since 1962, having their bodies cooled to sub-zero temperatures, with the hope that one day they may be brought back to life using highly advanced technology. It's the kind of issue-along with assisted ... continue reading


What the devil?! Bill Gates wants your college info so he can tell you what classes to take Watch

Image of Bill Gates could do so much more if only he had your privacy.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It might be easier to compose a short list of people and agencies that don't want to spy on you. Adding his name to the long list, Bill Gates has proposed tracking the lives and careers of college graduates as an ongoing means to assess college value. Of course, they'd ... continue reading


Two Cardinals, a Theologian and a Historian to Lecture at the University of St. Thomas

Image of N.T. Wright, one of the world's leading Bible scholar.

By Darnell Miller, University of St. Thomas

The University of St. Thomas is fortunate to have four outstanding speakers giving lectures on campus in the month of March. These speakers include N.T. Wright, one of the world's leading Bible scholars; Thomas Cardinal Collins, the Archbishop of Toronto; Dr. Andrew ... continue reading


Women Succeed in UST Engineering, CUA is New Partner

Image of Kendall Niemann is a UST cooperative engineering student studying at the University of Notre Dame.

By Brenda Cooper, University of St. Thomas

In the male-dominated field of engineering, it can be difficult for women to succeed, but last year, all four graduates of the University of St. Thomas cooperative engineering program were women, and three of them were Hispanic. Dr. Sheila Waggoner said she is proud of ... continue reading


Mardi Gras King, Queen Exemplify UST Mission

Image of University of St. Thomas Mardi Gras King and Queen, C.J. Miller and Meredith Smith.

By Vivian Cabrera - University of St. Thomas

The ideal Mardi Gras king and queen should embody the University's mission to educate leaders of faith and character. With the crowning of C.J. Miller and Meredith Smith The ideal Mardi Gras king and queen should embody the University's mission to educate leaders of ... continue reading


40 Celts March for Life in Washington

Image of Students from the University of St. Thomas - Houston, brave the cold weather as they march with nearly half a million others from across the country, declaring their pro-life stance.

By Brenda Cooper, University of St. Thomas

It didn't matter that when 40 college students boarded a bus in Washington, D.C., the temperature was in the teens. It also didn't matter that they had spent the night on blankets and in sleeping bags in cold elementary school classrooms, sans showers, at a parish ... continue reading


GRACE Goes International With Irish Teachers

Image of Pictured from L to R: Colm Supple, Mary Buckley and Sarah Tighe.

By Darnell Miller

In May 2013, merely two weeks after completing final exams, Mary Buckley, Colm Supple and Sarah Tighe, graduates from Mary Immaculate College in Limerick, Ireland, packed their bags and said goodbye to their friends, family and homeland as they journeyed 4,479 miles to ... continue reading


Seven in 10 college students graduate with loan debt Watch

Image of An independent analysis of federal data has revealed that more than 70 percent of college graduates in 2012 had student loans.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There was a time in America when graduating from college meant freedom and unlimited vistas. A sheepskin in the hand was the ticket to new challenges and rewarding careers. That's not true for seven out of 10 college students, who now are burdened with student ... continue reading


All College & University News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 2:1-5
1 Now when I came to you, brothers, I did not come ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 119:97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102
97 How I love your Law! I ponder it all day ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 4:16-30
16 He came to Nazara, where he had been brought up, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 1st, 2014 Image

St. Giles, Abbot
September 1: St. Giles, Abbot (Patron of Physically Disabled) Feast day - ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter