possibilities or difficult life-and-death decisions? The Human
Genome Project may ultimately mean both.
Oberlin Center for Russian, East European, and Central Asian
Studies placed its first intern last summer. Read this firsthand
account of his experiences in Moscow.
new organ takes shape in Finney Chapel. Profile 6 Economist
Gregory Hess and his student research assistant ponder the
relationship between war, economics, and the election cycle.
at Oberlin? Most definitely. A three-hour marathon of student
film shorts last May was just the tip of the growing celluloid
Ann Marie Gilbert inspires teamwork on and off the basketball
Oberlin Orchestra performed at the Getty Center, L.A. under
the direction of guest conductor John Williams.
facts you might be interested in.
Tale of Two Oberlins
Schools, They'll Work Together for a Better Future
by Anne C. Paine
Oberlins -- town and College --have deeply intertwined histories.
Through the Oberlin Partnership, town and College have acknowledged
that their prospects for the future are also inextricably tied.
A bucolic town at first glance, Oberlin is not immune to the stresses
of modern life. The town has recently suffered job losses, it struggles
with a persistent poverty rate of 25 percent, and its public-school
system does not meet state performance standards.
Officially launched last spring with a $350,000 allocation from the
Oberlin College Board of Trustees, the Oberlin Partnership is a four-pronged
effort headed by College and town leaders to jointly address the pressing
issues of education, housing, economic development, and recreation.
The emphasis is definitely on "joint," said Daniel Gardner '89, appointed
by President Nancy S. Dye to direct the College side of the partnership.
In his second-floor office overlooking Oberlin's main intersection
-- the location of which, he noted, "is more than a symbolic gesture"
-- he discussed the partnership's education component.
"We chose to focus on education first because there's an obvious partner,"
he said. "In housing, recreation, and economic development, there's
no one entity that has sole responsibility. Also, we already have
a lot of interaction between the College and the schools. But it's
not systematic. It's more a series of individual good ideas that seem
not to equal the sum of their parts. The partnership will let us align
our programs with the schools' needs. And the teacher-education program
we're developing stands as a model for what we want to do with all
the other education programs."
program, currently a proposal spearheaded by Associate Dean of the
College Robert Geitz, envisions the College establishing a teacher-training
program by 2002. During a fifth year of study, education students
would participate in work-shops and seminars led by College faculty
and public-school teachers. A semester would be spent student teaching
under the supervision of school teachers, who would also participate
in the program's pro-fessional development activities. Oberlin students
would graduate with provisional teaching licenses, the initial Ohio
is absolutely no reason why every child growing up in Oberlin
should not have an education enriched by Oberlin College."
Nancy S. Dye
"This is worth mentioning not because inexperienced College students
are going to take over Oberlin classrooms. What's notable is that
the program has been jointly conceived by College faculty and staff
and school faculty and staff," Gardner said.
"If the model we are developing is adopted, our program will be more
rigorous, more field-based, than other programs," he continued. "Students
will be able to see how school change is implemented and will be able
to have some influence on its course."
The proposal still needs to gain the approval of the College faculty,
the Oberlin school district, and the State of Ohio, Gardner said,
but "the feedback we've received so far has been very positive."
Other education fronts on which the partnership is working include
a science outreach program, headed by Associate Vice President of
Sponsored Programs David Love and Elaine Carlin, the assistant superintendent
of Oberlin schools.
"Upon completion of Oberlin's new science facility, it's a distinct
possibility that science instruction in the 6th through 12th grades
will be happening there," Gardner said. "The timing on this is excellent,
because teachers in Oberlin are currently redesigning the science
The already successful America Reads program will also be expanded,
and by next fall well-trained reading tutors will be placed in every
classroom from kindergarten through the third grade, as well as in
Oberlin's Head Start program and the Oberlin Early Childhood Center,
a local daycare center.
Overseeing all these efforts is a College-School Partnership Steering
Council, composed on the school side of representatives of the school
board, the administration, the teachers' union, building administrators,
and parents, and on the College side by the president and the academic
deans, along with Gardner and Diana Roose. Roose, assistant to the
president, is now eliciting concrete ideas from town residents on
how the College and schools can work together effectively.
"Oberlin College commands considerable educational resources," President
Nancy Dye told the Oberlin Alumni Magazine last fall. "There is absolutely
no reason why every child growing up in Oberlin should not have an
education enriched by Oberlin College."
The Oberlin Partnership plans to bring that vision into being.
the Oberlin Alumni Magazine story on the Oberlin Partnership.