Got jobs? These students do now

MAT program graduate students surprised with job offers within Newport News schools

Going to college is an extremely exciting experience that many teenagers look forward to. 

You experience more independence, take classes you enjoy and make great friends. But there is one major part of college that can be very stressful — finding a job. 

This is the reason people go to college; it is to further their education to find a job after graduation and start a career.

Here at Christopher Newport University, there are many resources to help students find jobs. One of the many resources is the highly recognized Masters in the Art of Teaching (MAT) program. 

Students are able to continue attending CNU for an extra year after they graduate and earn their master’s degree in teaching. 

This is an extremely popular program at CNU, with 50 students currently in the Spring 2020 cohort of the program.

Last week some of the current MAT students attended a lecture where they were given surprise job offers from Newport News Public Schools (NNPS). 

“The MAT students were invited to attend a workshop that provided an overview of the Impact Study comprehensive project that will be due at the end of their internship. The workshop was initially scheduled to start at 4 p.m., but when this wonderful opportunity arose with NNPS, the time was changed to 3:30 p.m. Students were informed that Newport News Public Schools had a presentation for them that would start at 3:30 p.m., and the Impact Study information would follow at 4:00 p.m.,” Associate Director of Teacher Preparation Dr. Karyn Ward said. 

Students were not told much else about the presentation that was to take place, so they were not expecting anything too crazy to happen. 

“The CNU MAT students were extended job offers to teach in NNPS for the upcoming school year, 2020-2021, coupled with a signing bonus. The students were given ten days, until Nov. 18th, to decide if they wanted to accept the offer. NNPS has agreed to share with CNU the number of students that have decided to accept this generous offer next week,” Ward said.  

One does not typically attend a lecture or presentation as a graduate student and expect to receive a job offer. 

“The CNU MAT students were very surprised by the NNPS job offer. They had no idea that this option would be presented to them when they arrived at McMurran Hall,” Ward said. 

This was a wonderful surprise for many of the students and validated their effort throughout the school year. It was not a spur of the moment decision, but rather a plan that had been in the works for some time. “Dr. Filetti and I from the CNU Office of Teacher Preparation and Allison Anderson and Stephanie Hautz from NNPS jointly agreed to surprise the students with the job offers. Once a date and time were agreed upon by CNU and NNPS, the ‘surprise’ was a go. I emailed the students and asked them to attend a presentation by NNPS that would start at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 8th,” Ward said. 

“41 of the 50 students received firm job offers extended by NNPS. The nine music endorsement seeking students talked with Stephanie Hautz, Director of HR at NNPS, in a small group near the front of the room. She explained that there may not be job openings for each of them, but if they are interested in working for NNPS, that they would be placed at the front of the line,” Ward said.

To have so many students receive job offers is quite an accomplishment, it shows the honor that an education from Christopher Newport University has in the Newport News Community. These jobs will also serve as a great way for students to give back to the same community that they have been a part of for the last four years. While it is not known yet how many students will accept their offers, having opportunities like this can be a huge relief. 

For many of them, these students can now finish their graduate education without having to worry about receiving job offers afterwards and they can truly focus on being the best teachers they can.

~Taryn Hannam-Zatz, News Editor~

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