“This program is a much more direct pathway for ETE students,” said
David Satran, director of the AAP. “They’ll be ready for Year 3 [of
their four-year degree] as soon as they come to Newark.”
He called the program “a true collaboration” between the College of
Arts and Sciences, which administers AAP statewide and whose faculty
teach the non-education courses at the program’s three sites around the
state, and the College of Education and Human Development, which
administers AAETE and whose faculty will teach the education courses in
Wilmington. Satran praised the support provided by John A. Pelesko,
interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and Carol Vukelich,
dean of the College of Education and Human Development.
Offering the AAETE pathway in northern Delaware as well as in
Sussex County is a win-win for students and for the state, Satran said.
“We hope this will help address the teacher shortage in Delaware
schools by growing the pool of AAP students who will come to Newark as
ETE majors,” he said. “It’s also a strategic effort to diversify the
pool of students pursuing education degrees.”
Students who completed AAETE in Georgetown have generally been
successful in completing their bachelor’s degrees and beginning careers
as teachers, said Scott Lykens, the program’s Georgetown coordinator.
He pointed out that the only difference between AAETE and earning all
four years’ worth of course credits in Newark is the location where
“In other words, it is not a different program, just a unique way of
offering the program,” Lykens said. “The program has the same goals as
the Newark bachelor of science in education (B.S.Ed.) program, which is
to prepare students to be reflective practitioners who are prepared to
serve a diverse community of learners.”
Most students who choose the AAETE pathway do so to save money, both Lykens and Rush have found.
AAP — for AAETE students or those pursuing degrees in other fields —
has lower tuition costs than the Newark campus, and students are also
eligible for the state’s SEED (Student Excellence Equals Degree) scholarship, which covers the cost of tuition for two years for qualified students.
Other advantages of AAETE, Lykens said, include small class sizes and
proximity to home, which is important for students who have family or
job obligations or who don’t feel ready to live on campus when they
first start college.
When the first AAETE students start classes in Wilmington this fall,
they will follow a prescribed ETE curriculum and will be able to turn to
Rush as an adviser. Her goal, she said, will be to ensure that each
student stays on track to be ready to transition to Newark after two
years and to help students choose a concentration in the ETE curriculum.
Concentrations can lead to dual certification in special education,
English as a Second Language, or a particular middle-school content
area, such as math or social studies.
“The high school students I’ve visited are very enthusiastic about
these advantages,” Rush said. “They know that UD has a nationally ranked
education program, and they know that having a dual certification opens
up a lot of additional career opportunities.”
Former AAETE students are some of the program’s best ambassadors, administrators say.
Emily Halliday, for example, who graduated from AAETE in Georgetown
in 2016 and earned her bachelor’s degree in Newark in 2018, often
encourages high school students to consider the cost-effective path to a
The program, she says, saved her money, eased her transition to
college and led to her current job teaching second-grade special
education in Dover, Delaware.
Sylena Miller, who completed the AAETE program two years ago and will
graduate this spring with her bachelor’s degree, says she made the
right choice by starting college in Georgetown.
“I loved the professors I had, and I really enjoyed the smaller class
sizes because it allowed me to make more meaningful connections with my
professors,” said Miller, who has lined up multiple interviews for
teaching jobs in Delaware schools next fall. “And it has made me so much
better off financially now. My time in the Georgetown program just
seemed to fly by.”
Article by Ann Manser; photos by Ambre Alexander Payne and courtesy of Emily Halliday