Jacobsen, TE 250 team honored for excellent service-learning

November 12, 2012

The Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement at Michigan State University has honored several faculty members in the Department of Teacher Education for their efforts to provide future teachers with meaningful, community-based learning opportunities.

Rebecca Jacobsen teaches a section of TE 250 for future teachers.

TE 250 team

One award will be presented to the outstanding faculty team that teaches and coordinates Teacher Education 250, an entry-level course required for all teacher candidates at MSU. This group includes Dorinda Carter Andrews, Sandra Crespo, Terry Flennaugh, Lynn Paine, Michelle Purdy, Maria Teresa Tatto, Matt Ferkany, Elizabeth Heilman and Rebecca Jacobsen.

TE 250: Human Diversity, Power and Opportunity in Social Institutions, is designed to help future teachers understand how schooling affects social inequality in the U.S. An important question is: How do school-community relationships affect student opportunities to learn? Students are placed in school and community organizations across the greater Lansing area, including public schools and the Refugee Development Center.

Students tutor students, create and help staff after-school programs, and learn to interact with and be responsive to parents and caregivers. This is an essential part of learning to teach. In addition, the relationships with schools and social institutions teach instructors about challenges faced in communities, which helps them constantly revise programs to address those challenges.

Rebecca Jacobsen

In addition, assistant professor of teacher education Rebecca Jacobsen received an individual award for her work in Teacher Education 291a, Special Topics in Urban Education. To create opportunities for prospective teachers to learn to work with parents, Jacobsen moved the course to a local elementary school. During the end of the school day, future teachers in the course complete structured assignments that help them learn about parents, then meet with Jacobsen in the school library to discuss their interactions. Jacobsen also models parent interactions for her students. With new knowledge about the school’s parent community, the class plans and hosts a Family Literacy and/or Math Open House. Over the past three years, Jacobsen’s students have worked with hundreds of families who leave the Family Night armed with a new game that connects school and home.


The MSU Curricular Service-Learning and Civic Engagement Awards are selected based on nominations from each primary college dean. The 2012 College of Education awards reflect recognition by Dean Donald Heller and Suzanne Wilson, chairperson of the Department of Teacher Education.

Recipients attended an awards breakfast and ceremony on Nov. 9 at the Kellogg Center. Congratulations faculty members!