Preparing Educators as Leaders

Going places

March 19, 2018

LAWRENCE- A School of Education master’s degree recipient from Marysville, Kansas, was one of six KU students selected for prestigious Fulbright awards for research, study or English teaching abroad for 2017-2018.

Zachary McCarter received his master’s degree and teacher licensure in foreign language education from the Department of Curriculum and Teaching in August 2017. He writes, “I am a 2015 first-generation graduate from the University of Kansas. I finished with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in German. I studied abroad in 2014 which sparked my interest and passion in both the German language and German culture. I decided to go back to KU to pursue a master’s degree in education. During this program, I was also in the process of applying for a Fulbright grant. Just around the time I was finishing up my last few weeks of student teaching at Topeka High School and Topeka West High School, I received word that I was going to be accepted for a Fulbright grant to Germany! I couldn’t believe it! I was going to be able to spend a year abroad in Germany and I could refine my knowledge both in the language and of the culture. I was overwhelmed with emotions and could not wait to get started. 

“I was placed in a school in Brakel, Germany, a small town of about 15,000 people. I actually live in a nearby town of about the same size called Bad Driburg. Both cities are in the state of Nordrhein-Westfalen. I have been here since August 22, 2017 working in a rather interesting school. The school, Schulen der Brede, is a private Catholic school that unites a high school, junior high school and vocational college all under one roof. My main purpose in this school is to share and exchange my knowledge and personal experience of the United States and the English language. I spend a lot of time working one-on-one and with groups of students helping them practice their English language skills and helping with group work that the teacher assigns. As the only native English speaker in the building, I am there to be a helping hand.

“It has been a magnificent experience and I have learned so much already. My goal is to become a German teacher in the United States, and as a German teacher I truly want to understand the language and culture on a much more personal level. I have been able to experience many cultural traditions that have deeply expanded my knowledge which will help me teach more contextualized and personalized lessons in my future classroom. I am already planning to apply for a second year! If accepted, I would hope to stay in the school I am currently working in. There is still so much more to learn." 

The Fulbright program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and people of other countries. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The U.S. Student Fulbright program operates in more than 155 countries worldwide. Since the program’s inception in 1946, 465 KU students have been selected for Fulbright awards.

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#1 public program in nation for special education
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Research expenditures of $36,804,773 for 2011-12
Research from KU’s largest grant, the $24.5 million SWIFT project, assists educators, children, and families across the United States
The award-winning special education faculty published 140 refereed articles, 11 books, and 60 chapters in 2015-16
Students with intellectual disabilities are participating in KU undergraduate programs through a grant-funded KU special education program
Researchers on a $3.5 million grant are collecting data on an innovative reading program designed to teach reading to students with the most significant disabilities in seven Kansas school districts
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44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
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