Article Tag Archives: Fulbright

Truman Education Continues to Earn National Praise

Truman continues to receive high marks for helping students earn degrees while keeping the cost of their education low.

The Business Journals ranked Truman at No. 40 on its list of the best public colleges in America. The publication looked at nearly 500 four-year public institutions nationwide and based its rankings on 19 indicators of academic excellence, affordability and diversity. The study’s objective was to identify the public universities and colleges that offer the best educational experiences to their students.

According to the article that accompanied the February release of The Business Journals’ rankings, 70 percent of U.S. students who earned bachelor’s degrees in 2013 went into debt to finance their education, with typical graduates owing more than $28,000. By comparison, half of Truman’s students graduate without any student debt and the other half graduate with debt well below the state and national averages.

Cost was one of three core categories — out of six total — where Truman earned a five-star rating. Truman’s accolades from Forbes, Kiplinger’s, Washington Monthly and U.S. News & World Report were also taken into consideration by The Business Journals’ rankings.

At the start of the year, the Princeton Review heaped praise on the University by including it in the book “Colleges That Pay You Back: The 200 Best Value Colleges and What It Takes to Get In.” Although Truman is a perennial fixture in Princeton Review listings, inclusion in this particular book is notable as it is the first to factor in data regarding academics, cost, financial aid, graduation rates, alumni salaries and job satisfaction. One of only 77 public schools to be included, the book noted Truman “offers a private school education at a public price” and that “comprehensive financial aid programs can be used to make sure that students are able to focus on their studies.”

Truman also earned acknowledgement twice this year for its involvement with two unique organizations — the Fulbright Program and the Peace Corps.

The Chronicle of Higher Education recognized Truman as a top producer of U.S. Fulbright students for the 2014-2015 academic year. Of Truman’s 19 Fulbright applicants, six were offered the award, which placed the University third nationally among master’s institutions. Truman tied with four other institutions across the U.S.

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program. A current objective of the program is to encourage participants to find innovative solutions to global issues such as climate change and pandemics. Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 300,000 participants, chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential, with the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

Truman’s 14 alumni currently serving in the Peace Corps helped land a spot on that agency’s annual list of top schools.

Since the creation of the Peace Corps in 1961, more than 200 Truman graduates have served as volunteers. The Peace Corps ranks its top volunteer-producing schools according to the size of the student body. This year, Truman tied at No. 19 among Medium Colleges and Universities, classified as having enrollments between 5,000 and 15,000 students.

Truman shared the No. 19 spot with four other schools, including Washington University in St. Louis, which was the only other Missouri school to make the list in any of the three size-based categories. This is the third time overall that Truman has made the Peace Corps rankings.

The University is also a partner in the Peace Corps Master’s International program, which now includes Truman’s Master of Arts in leadership. Individuals in the program typically complete one year of graduate coursework before beginning their Peace Corps assignments. The two-year Peace Corps appointment counts as the required internship experience and tuition is waived during their service.

The Peace Corps sends volunteers abroad to work at the grassroots level to develop sustainable solutions that address challenges in education, health, economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. Through their service, volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a life-long commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today’s global

Teaching Career Begins in Greece

Growing up, Truman student Mia Pohlman always wanted to be a teacher. Her experiences in high school and college, working with children and teenagers, strengthened her passion for the field. Although lesson plans and classrooms are traditional parts of the job, the Fulbright program has given Pohlman the opportunity to experience teaching in an unconventional setting.

Pohlman applied for the HAEF/Fulbright program in Greece her senior year at Truman. The program seemed a perfect fit, aligning with her teaching and living abroad expectations.

“I’ve wanted to travel and spend a year living abroad after college since I was in eighth grade,” Pohlman said. “The Fulbright program allowed me to do that, as well as teach.”

Currently a teaching fellow at Athens College Junior High in Athens, Greece, Pohlman educates middle school children about short stories and writing. She preps lesson plans and teaches independently of other teachers in the school. In her free time, Pohlman works with the school’s speech, debate and theater team and takes classes twice a week to learn Greek.

The junior high school is one of the most prestigious schools in Greece, enrolling children of celebrities and politicians. Nevertheless, Pohlman isn’t overwhelmed by their wealth or social status. Her affection for her students has even caused her to reconsider her teaching path.

“Before this experience I thought I wanted to teach high school when I return to the United States. Now I’m seriously considering teaching middle school instead,” she said. “I love the sincerity, creativity and craziness of this age group.”

Originally from Perryville, Mo., Pohlman came to Truman for its five-year master’s teaching program, student community and affordable price. In May 2014, she graduated with her bachelor’s degree in English with a concentration in writing and minors in both photography and African/African-American studies.

During her senior year, Pohlman showcased her creative skills when she presented her photography and poetry project at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research in Lexington, Ky. As an undergraduate, she was also involved with the Catholic Newman Center, a Kirksville High School youth group and Detours magazine.

Mia-2When Pohlman returns to Truman in the fall, she will be working on not one, but two master’s degrees. In addition to a Master of Arts in Education, she will also pursue a Master of Arts in English and will work as a graduate teaching assistant. She will be responsible for teaching Writing as Critical Thinking to incoming freshman. Pohlman is excited to translate her Fulbright experience to her new role.

“My time as a Fulbright fellow is helping me prepare for the GTRA position by giving me practical experience in a classroom,” she said. “I’m learning how to teach and explain things in multiple ways. I’m also getting great experience preparing lessons and thinking about how to best teach a topic.”

In the future Pohlman aspires to teach English in a public school, but for now, she is enjoying the laid-back pace of life in Greece. The Fulbright program may not have been the most common way to gain real-world experience, but Pohlman has adapted to the daily rhythm of her foreign setting.

“There have definitely been challenging moments in my time here so far, but I’m realizing that these moments are always followed by beautiful ones,” Pohlman said.